The Republic of Peru is located on the western coast of South America. Peru achieved independence as a country from Spain in 1821. Its official language is
Spanish. Peru is the 20th
largest country by surface area, at approximately 1.3 million km
2. Water accounts for 8.8% of this area. Its total GDP is estimated at $127 billion in 2008.
The extractive sector is considered a major industry in Peru, with extractive industries accounting for 15% of the economy. The country's main exports
include copper, gold and zinc.
Additional Information and Highlights
Population: 29 million
Life expectancy: 70.74 years
Average age: 26.1 years
Major regions: Ancash - 1,039,415; Arequipa – 1,140,810; Cajamarca – 1,359,023; Cusco – 1,171,503; Junín – 1,091,619; La Libertad – 1,539,774; Lambayeque –
1,091,535; Lima (Capital) – 864,853; Piura – 1,630,772; Puno – 1,245,508
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
Copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas
Earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
Head of state, also head of government: President Alan GARCIA Perez (since 28 July 2006)
Legal structure: based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Over the last decade the government has switched roles from being an active agent/participant in the mining sector to a regulatory and supportive role. The
legal framework has, over the last 20 years, made obtaining rights easier, offered more protections to ventures and contracts, and created a climate that
is more favorable to investment. In just the last year alone, Peru has signed with Canada a balanced free trade agreement (encouraging corporate socially
responsible practices), a progressive and compelling labor agreement, as well as an environmental agreement that seeks to ensure a greater level of
protection and cooperation.
There is currently a major gold rush underway in the Amazon jungle of Peru. An estimated 30,000 miners have begun work in the region, not all of which is
Some Canadian companies operating in Peru include: Talisman Energy Inc., Rio Alto, Teck, and Barrick Gold
- Overdependence on minerals and metals subjects the economy to fluctuations in world prices, and poor infrastructure precludes the spread of growth to
Peru's non-coastal areas
Poor water supply and sanitation services; of the estimated 29 million people in Peru, approximately 6.4 million have no access to water services
whatsoever, and 11.3 million have no access to sanitation services
Anti-mine movement; community conflicts and protests usually arise when faced with a new mine. This is due in part to the fact that local governments are
often corrupt and spend most of the profit turned by mining companies carelessly and unfairly. Some locals claim big mining companies are demolishing
historical monuments, polluting rivers and streams that provide clean drinking water, and destroying the environment.