Why are you attending PDAC and what activities do you plan to develop in this major global mining meeting?
PDAC is a great opportunity to promote mining and mineral exploration in Peru. Therefore, we will be present at different events throughout the convention, including those organized by the Peruvian Canadian Chamber of Commerce, among others. Our mission is to promote mining exploration in Peru, seeking to generate investment bridges in exploration projects, as well as to promote the ProExplo 2023 conference.
What is the message or reflection that you intend to spread as president of proEXPLO at this outstanding mining event?
The message we would like to promote is that Peru continues to be a great investment destination for long-term mineral exploration. While it is true that we are experiencing uncertain times at a political level, we are still a country with a lot of undiscovered mining potential and with many long-term opportunities. We need to lead by example and be leaders in an increasingly responsible, inclusive and sustainable mineral exploration industry.
Investments in mineral exploration continue to grow, but there are no new contracts in this area signed by the State this year, so how can we remedy this situation?
I believe that this reflects the lack of confidence and support being received from the current government, but the growth in investment in mining exploration shows that investors continue to believe in Peru as a long-term investment destination. Now, although mining exploration investments are growing, they are not growing at the rate we see worldwide.
What facts demonstrate the reality of this situation?
For example, in 2021, S&P Global reports that mining exploration grew 18% in Peru, but 35% globally. This means that we are losing competitiveness against countries such as Canada, Chile or Australia due to the bureaucratic barriers for mineral exploration in Peru and the challenges presented by the current political situation.
There is concern about the lack of new world-class projects under construction after Quellaveco, how could the development of the current portfolio be accelerated?
There are two ways to do this, which are not mutually exclusive. The first is that we must make existing projects viable. We have many deposits already discovered waiting to be built, and we must make a joint effort between the company, the state and society to reach agreements to make the projects viable in a sustainable and responsible manner, for the benefit of the population.
What is the other way?
The second way involves new discoveries, and for this we must continue to invest in exploration, and count on the support of the state to make the mineral exploration industry more competitive and agile, thus achieving discoveries that can benefit the country in a shorter period of time. This second path will be the focus of ProExplo 2023, which under the slogan "Discovering the Mining of the Future", seeks to promote mining exploration as a catalyst towards an increasingly sustainable, inclusive and responsible industry.
From your position as a geologist, what is Peru's potential for lithium deposits?
The discovery of Falchani in Puno brings a new frontier of exploration in the country: lithium in hard rock. With the increase in demand and price of lithium, an increase in resources and discoveries will be needed. With discoveries such as Falchani, the sixth largest hard rock lithium deposit in the world, Peru is showing potential to join Chile, Argentina and Bolivia as another major player in lithium production in South America.
So what is needed to boost the development of domestic lithium?
To boost its exploitation, we must promote Peru as an investment destination in this space and work with the state to motivate policies that promote this investment. It is a new frontier and it will be very competitive.