May 1, 2001
Peru excels in the very old-fashioned business of digging stuff out of the ground. Mining has been the most dynamic sector of the economy throughout the years of recession and weak growth, and accounted last year for almost half of Peru's $6.8 billion in exports.
Last year, gold and copper exports alone topped $2 billion and output reached record levels. The government says the mining industry should grow 8% this year, when it will generate 5.7% of GDP. It expects a staggering 18% growth in 2002, once the giant Antamina copper and zinc mine is complete.
For a country like Peru, mining is an important provider of jobs and drives economic development, says Roque Benavides,
The mining industry was Peru's most dynamic sector through years of recession and weak growth. But metals prices are struggling to recover, so companies are cutting costs, raising production and increasing reserves.