LIMA, SEPTEMBER 21 2021 BHP's Rag Udd: Peru has a historic opportunity in copper leading up to 2035

The world currently produces and consumes about 23 million tons of copper and will need to add a similar amount by 2035 to move forward with global decarbonization, electrification, and world population growth. In this context, Peru has a historic opportunity and a bright future if it makes the right decisions.

This was pointed out by Rag Udd, president for the Americas of the mining company BHP, in his keynote speech at the central event of Heading to PERUMIN, organized by the Peruvian Institute of Mining Engineers (IIMP), which takes place online and free of charge from September 20 to 24 .

Around USD 500,000 million will be needed for the entire planet to put into operation those 23 million tons of extra copper required to cover its global decarbonization needs, said Udd, and a very good part of that investment could settle in Peru.

Competitiveness and stable policies

However, this great opportunity cannot be taken for granted, since competitiveness and stable policies are required in the country to attract and secure investments and the right partners to make them sustainable in the long term for all stakeholders, especially the Peruvian people.

Investment attraction competes on a global scale and the best places to invest not only have the best quality of mining resources, but also have the support of local communities, society, fiscal stability and competitiveness, said the BHP senior executive. "Peru has a bright future with the right conditions," he said.

Regarding the concept of social profitability put on the national agenda by the new government, the BHP executive said that it has the potential to create a positive incentive to build long-term alliances between companies and the State.

He noted that BHP's investment decisions are made on the basis of long-term production. "We not only consider the resources in the ground, but the sustainability of our investments, alliances with our stakeholders and the competitiveness and political stability of the regions where we invest," he explained.

Rag Udd stressed that the development of a mine, from the beginning of exploration to producing its first copper concentrate, currently takes between 15 and 20 years. And that is why the competitiveness of a country and the stability of its fiscal policies are key ingredients for the success of mining projects. "Competitiveness and stability of fiscal policies cannot be underestimated," stressed Udd.

Peru, a big player

For BHP, Peru is currently a major player in copper and is well positioned to become the major supplier of copper, the commodity of the future essential to meet the climate challenge and fuel the renewable energy industry.

While copper demand from 2005 to 2015 was dominated by the Chinese economy, now it will be the whole world that will demand more of the red metal because copper is now essential for the whole world and no longer depends on a single country, Rag added.

Therefore, this situation puts Peru at the center of this megatrend of global decarbonization, electrification and renewable energies, he concluded.

In Peru, BHP is a shareholder in Antamina, one of the most important copper and zinc producers in Latin America, and it is also advancing with exploration work in regions such as Ayacucho, Áncash and Huánuco. In Chile, BHP operates the Escondida and Spence mines, and uses desalination plants to supply water and has announced that it will use only energy from renewable sources in its mines. BHP has around 80,000 employees worldwide and, in 2016, the company set out to achieve a gender balance by 2025.

Newsletter PERUMIN 35

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