Latin American Mining

  • Latin America is the preferred destination for global exploration
  • In 2012, 25% of all global exploration dollars were spent in Latin America
  • By 2020 there will be 6 countries in Latin America that will capture 50% of global mining investments

The geological landscape of Latin America is rich in mineral deposits. Given the patterns of global economic growth the robust demand for minerals and metals are expected to remain a constant, there will be huge investment in the Latin American mining industry. Prices and short term demand may fluctuate but the market for minerals and metals is a reality of development and growth today.

In 2003, hardly 10% of global mining investment was headed towards Latin America, but even today as the mining sector is going through a dis-aggregation the largest marquee mining companies disclose their long term commitment to the region.

From 2002 – 2012, mining investment in Latin America has more than doubled.

In 2012 Latin America was responsible for 25% of total production and had 28% in the investment pipeline allocated to the region.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 8.07.31 PM


The Latin American region continues to attract investment capital in the mining sector expecting to receive $250 billion by 2020. This makes Latin America the first destination for mining investment.

Latin America is now the primary destination for mining exploration investment in the world, with 25% of total investment going to Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina.

By 2020 these 6 Latin American countries are expected to capture 50% of global mining investments; Chile - $100 billion, Brazil - $68 billion, Peru - $56 billion, Colombia - $22 billion, Mexico $13 billion and Argentina - $10 billion (a total of $269 billion).

Commodities such as iron ore, copper, gold and nickel, will remain the most important investment targets for mining companies. These premier metals account for 84% of the total future project pipeline.

South America contains about one-fifth of the world’s iron ore reserves. The most important beds are located in Brazil and Venezuela.

Valued at $26.9 billion in 2009, copper accounts for nearly one-third of the exports of Chile, the world’s largest copper exporter. In 2015 it is estimated that Chile alone has 33% of the global copper reserves and production more than the next 5 largest producers combined. In 2013 its 5.7 million tonnes of production was valued at $55 billion.

Chile has the second largest reserves of molybdenum in the Americas, trailing the United States.

Other important Latin American metal deposits include tin, used to solder metallic surfaces; lead, used in construction, batteries, and bullets; and zinc, used as an anti-corrosion agent. Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia are major producers of tin. Lead and zinc deposits are found primarily in higher elevations of Peru, Bolivia, southern Brazil, and northern Argentina.

South America is home to some deposits of oil and natural gas, which are drilled for energy and fuel. The region possesses 20 percent of the world's known underground oil reserves, and its share of the wealth has been growing in recently years. Oil and gas extraction is the dominant industry of Venezuela.




Peru US$56 billion of mining investment is expected to go into Peru by 2020 - 2nd largest producer of copper and 3rd largest recipient of foreign investment in mining projects. Modernization of plants and professionalization of operators has allowed Peru to secure an important place in the global mining map. 94% of mining investments go to Copper, Gold, Iron and Zinc. China is the largest foreign investor in Peru mining projects - at US $10.6 billion in 2012, representing 20% of the total foreign investment in the country - followed by the USA $8.947 billion, Canada US$6.787 billion and Australia US$4.67 billion.
Chile US$100 billion of mining investment into Chile by 2020 - the largest producer of copper in the world where 1/3 of copper reserves of the world are in Chile.
Mexico Currently 70% of its territories are suitable to continue locating world class minerals deposits. More than 700 explorations projects are underway. Mexico is now the 6th best destination for mine prospecting.
Colombia US$22 billion of new mining investments expected by 2020. 5th largest global coal exporter and 1st Latin America producer, together with other metals: gold, silver, and platinum.
Argentina 2.3KM2 with geological potential for mining developments. More than 600 projects are currently in operations. An estimated US$10 billion will be invested in Argentina's mining sector.
All facilitating favourable conditions to make mining attractive to foreign investments, such as developing stable regulations and promoting proper legal environments.


Mapa ql



Has about 85% of Latin America’s oil and gas reserves. Venezuela has even toppled Saudi Arabia as the country with the largest proven reserves. Other producers are Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Mexico.



And other Central American countries are rich in minerals and still developing their infrastructure and businesses.

In addition there are other countries, like Brazil, that further make investment into Latin American mining and minerals sector a very positive long and short term outlook.

Latin American Mining is poised to be part of this growth; helping humanity advance by delivering minerals and commodities to market.


A photo by Caryle Tylkowski.