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The Yanacocha Mine Case

1. Introduction: The Yanacocha mine

The Yanacocha gold mine is located in Northern Peru, at an altitude between 3500 and 4000m, near the city of Cajamarca (35 km). It is considered to be one of the largest and most profitable in the world, and the largest and most profitable in Latin America. It is operated by Minera Yanacocha, S.R.L. (MYSRL), a company controlled by three main shareholders: Compañía de Minas Buenaventura —a Peruvian company— (43.65%), International Finance Corporation (IFC) —a member of World Bank Group, promoting investment projects in developing countries— (5%); and Newmont Mining Corporation, which is the principal partner (51.35%). The latter is one of the world’s largest producers of gold, located in Denver (Colorado, USA) and operating through different companies in different countries around the world.

It has been said of MYSRL that it “accounts for almost half of Peru’s annual gold production”. Almost all of Yanacocha’s numbers are gigantic. For example, its production increased from 81,000 ounces in 1993 to 3 million ounces in 2003. It is also of an enormous size: the land under concession is approximately 1,572 square kilometers, “including four major watersheds and the Andean continental divide”; the current mining district spans about 160km with five open pit mines.

 Click here for the factsheet (9 pages): FS_043_Yanacocha