With the Andes mountains at its center, coastal desert to the west and the Amazon basin on the east, geographically diverse Peru is Latin America’s largest gold producer—and the sixth largest producer globally.
planetGOLD project sites in Peru
As many as 250,000 artisanal and small-scale miners operate in the country, producing roughly one quarter of Peru’s gold exports. This mining activity provides critical income and immediate livelihoods for the poorest and most disenfranchised in rural areas like the Andean Regions, where approximately 15 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty.
While artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has grown to become a primary source of economic activity for many in these regions, it is not without its challenges. Mercury use in the sector pollutes the environment and affects the health of people, while deforestation from illegal mining encroaches on indigenous lands and protected areas. The barriers to formalizing the sector are numerous, and informality forces miners to sell their gold through long and inefficient supply chains for as little as 70 percent of the real value.
As global demand for gold continues to increase, reforming the ASGM industry in Peru is critical to protecting the livelihoods while preserving the country’s biodiversity and the global environment. Broad transformational change will require capacity building among miners to utilize more responsible mercury-free methods, removing barriers to formalization, and better access to financing and responsible markets.
Key Figures from Peru
1 million people's livelihoods depend on ASGM
#6 gold producer in the world
38.7 tonnes of gold are produced by ASGM each year
145 tonnes of mercury are emitted each year due to ASGM activities
The planetGOLD project in Peru is working to reduce and, where possible, eliminate mercury use in the ASGM sector by strengthening the regulatory framework for mercury-free practices; establishing financing arrangements to provide loans for mercury-free processing equipment; providing technical assistance, technology transfer, support for formalization and access to responsible markets; and raising awareness while capturing and disseminating lessons-learned and best practices.
The planetGOLD project in Peru will support 12 mining communities to reduce mercury use by 15 tonnes over the course of the five-year project.
Strengthen the regulation of ASGM toward becoming mercury-free
Help miners access financing for mercury-free technologies
Provide technical assistance & training on alternative technologies & promote ASGM formalization
Raise awareness and disseminate best practices
The planetGOLD project in Peru is executed by the Peruvian government through the Ministry of Environment and Ministries of Energy and Mines (MINAM and MINEM) with the technical assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Peru National Project Manager