Natural resources, energy and environment
Peru has major mineral resources and is one
of the world's leading producers of copper, zinc, silver
and gold. Oil production has been around for a long
time, but in recent times natural gas has played a
bigger role. Both the mining and oil industries cause
serious environmental problems.
Mineral reserves are large and most of the assets are
still untouched. In addition to the dominant export
products, Peru also has good assets on lead, tin,
bismuth, molybdenum and iron ore. The copper and zinc
mine Antamina in the Andes is one of the largest in the
Major exports by Peru with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Gold mining takes place in a number of places.
Yanacocha in the north is the largest gold mine in South
America and one of the largest in the world. Around a
fifth of the gold in Peru is believed to be illegally
mined. It is happening not least in Madre de Dios in the
south-east, a jungle region that has become a poster
name in the world for deforestation and environmental
degradation. Previous rainforests have been replaced
here with a desert landscape with toxic ponds,
characterized by organized crime, human trafficking and
The mining industry was previously run mainly by
Western companies, but since the turn of the millennium,
Chinese-owned mining companies have also invested
heavily in Peruvian mines.
Peru was the first country in Latin America with oil
recovery, the first oil well was drilled as early as
1863. The extraction takes place both in the Amazon and
partly offshore. The recovery culminated in the early
1980s but then fell for a long number of years, although
it has now increased again.
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Instead, natural gas extraction has grown
substantially and is now more important than oil.
Foreign companies began to extract gas from the large
Camisea field in the rainforest in the Cusco region in
the south in 2004. From Camisea, two pipelines go to the
Peru, despite its own assets, has to import higher
quality crude oil to cover energy consumption, but more
and more domestic natural gas is being used. Fossil
fuels account for almost half of the electricity
produced, and hydropower for just over half. Other
renewable energy sources have so far played a relatively
Mining takes place in open pit mines, which causes
major damage to the landscape. The handling has also led
to environmentally hazardous emissions and there are
regular protests against the mining companies'
operations. The oil companies' attempts to find new
sources of oil have also triggered clashes with local
groups who are worried about their local environment. In
some cases, the protests have been so extensive that
operations have either been stopped or put on ice. The
small-scale illegal extraction also negatively impacts
the environment through the use of mercury and cyanide.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
768 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
1308 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
61 745 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
2.0 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
25.5 percent (2015)
The Minister of Justice resigns
Justice Minister Gustavo Adrianzén leaves his post and thus avoids being
subjected to a distrust vote in Congress. The reason is that he dismissed a
prosecutor who led an investigation against President Humala's wife Nadine
Heredia and the Nationalist Party. Heredia is accused of receiving over $
200,000 from unknown source several years ago, while the husband is alleged to
have received illegal funding from Venezuelan companies. The money is suspected
to have been used for Humala's election campaign. Adrianzén says he lacked
confidence in the prosecutor's work. He is the sixth Minister of Justice since
Humala took office.
Violent in environmental protest against copper projects
Four people are killed in violent protests against the construction of a
plant that will refine copper. The protesters fear that the building will lead
to pollution of water and land. The plant is located at an altitude of 4,000
meters in the Apurímac region and is run by a Chinese company and represents a
huge investment that is expected to increase the country's GDP by 1.4 percent in
2016. As a result of the protests, state permits are announced in six provinces.
Guerrilla leaders are reported to be arrested
Authorities state that two Sendero Luminoso leaders have been arrested in
Vraem. Stocks of explosives and weapons should have been seized near a gas
pipeline that runs between a natural gas field and Lima.
Addicted people are released
The army says it has saved 39 people, 26 of them children, from a farm where
they were kept as slaves by Sendero Luminoso. Some of the adults state that they
have been kept on the farm for 30 years and forced to work in the fields.
The state of emergency is lifted after arrest
Police arrest Neymer Keni Maldonado, who is reported to be the logistics
manager of the guerrilla Sendero Luminoso. Weapons and ammunition are also found
at the strike in San Martín in the north. On the same day that Maldonado is
arrested, President Humala rescinded the 30-year state of emergency in the upper
Huallaga, located in San Martín.
The President is given special powers
Following a request from President Humala, Congress gives the government
special powers for 90 days, so that a series of financial and security decisions
can be taken. This applies to, among other things, simplified bureaucracy and
better conditions for private investors, some liberalization of the electricity
market, trade facilitation, increased customs security and improved access to
housing. The purpose is to increase investment and boost the economy. There are
signs that a clearing is underway: in April, the economy grew by 4.25 percent,
which was the highest figure in 13 months. Tighter penalties are also expected
for, among other things, contract killings and extortion.
State of emergency following protests against mining projects
A state of emergency is announced in the Islay province after a protester was
killed in connection with a protest against the disputed mining project Tía
María, which is again relevant (see April 2010 and April 2011). In total, four
people have now been killed during a couple of months of protests.
PPK is appointed presidential candidate
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (known as PPK) is the only candidate when the Peruvian
Party for Change (PPK) nominates its candidate for the 2016 presidential
New chief minister appointed
President Humala appoints former Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano as chief
minister. Humala challenges the opposition with this its seventh prime minister;
Cateriano, who has been Minister of Defense for three years, is something of a
red flag for the president's political opponents. A vote of confidence will be
held against Cateriano and if Congress votes against him, the president may
dissolve the assembly.
Chief Minister dismissed after spying revelation
The Correo Semanal magazine publishes a list of a large number of citizens
whose intelligence service Dini is said to have collected for several years.
These are politicians, journalists, businessmen and military, as well as
relatives of many of them. The disclosure leads to Prime Minister Jara kicking
Dini's boss as well as the head of counter-espionage and several other
highly-regarded intelligence operations. But the opposition claims that Ana Jara
should have had better control over the intelligence business and is announcing
a vote of no confidence which will end with her dismissal. It is the first time
in half a century that Congress has set aside a prime minister.
Violent protests against expensive electricity notes
Around 10,000 people embark on a "far-reaching strike" in and around
Andahuaylas, the regional capital of Apurímac. They block off roads in protest
of the local electricity supplier having paid too much of around a quarter of
its more than 40,000 customers. The barriers lead to food shortages occurring in
certain areas and to violent clashes with police. After four days, the central
government is forced to start negotiations. At the same time, the strike is
spreading to the neighboring province of Chincheros. After talks with Prime
Minister Ana Jara and Minister of Energy and Mining Rosa María Ortiz,
representatives of the protesters sign an agreement on eight points, and the
strike ends. Among other things, Jara promises to present a bill on
contributions to electricity bills for poor and marginalized families.
Ex-minister charged with murder
Daniel Urresti, who just left the post of Secretary of the Interior, is
charged with murdering a journalist in 1988, when he was Army general. Two
soldiers have been convicted of the murder, but one of them has accused Urresti
of being involved. The journalist was shot dead while investigating human rights
The President accuses Chile of spying
President Humala accuses Chile of spying since three lower-level naval
officers have been arrested and charged with selling secretly stamped material
to the neighboring country. It would be "very serious" for the bilateral
relations, says the president, who invites former presidents Alejandro Toledo
and Alan García as well as opposition leader Keiko Fujimori to inform them of
the alleged espionage. In March, the ambassador is called home from Chile.
Protests drive away oil companies
One person is killed and about 20 injured when police drive back protesters
who stormed a military base in the Amazon. The base is used as a storage site by
an Argentine oil company, Pluspetrol, which is looking for natural gas in the
area. It is mainly indigenous people who are behind the protests against fear of
environmental degradation. After several days of unrest, Pluspetrol decides to
leave the area.