Miner BHP wants to expand presence in Peru, says executive

Global miner BHP (BHP.AX) wants to expand its presence in Peru through exploration of new projects, Rag Udd, who heads the company in the Americas, said on Tuesday at the Perumin mining conference.

Peru is the world’s No. 2 copper producer and BHP is a part-owner of one of its largest copper mines, Antamina.

Udd added that BHP will invest $12 million on exploration in the next 10 months and that it is evaluating six potential projects.

Despite falling prices in recent months, Udd said he remains optimistic about future demand for copper amid an energy transition away from fossil fuels.

“Peru has all the potential to grasp that opportunity and unleash a new positive cycle,” Udd said, adding the country has maintained “stable” macroeconomic fundamentals in recent years.

BHP is also the operator of the world’s largest copper mine, known as Escondida and located in Chile.