Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Las Bambas' Price - US$121,000,000: The Associated Press and Reuters reports that Switzerland's Xstrata "won the auction to develop Peru's huge Las Bambas copper deposit on Tuesday with a bid of $121 million," according to ProInversion. NOTE: "The winning bid was the highest over a $40 million base price. The company must now either invest at least $1 billion in the project or build a 50,000 tonne-a-day processing plant. It must also pay a 3% royalty calculated on the value of net annual revenue from the sale of mineral mined. Peru reckons the project will boost gross domestic product by 1% point a year when up and running and turn it into the world's No. 4 copper producer from fifth now." ALSO: "Fourteen companies had originally prequalified for the sale. But on Monday only three companies besides Xstrata presented bids: Australia's BHP Billiton, Phelps Dodge of the United States, and Brazil's Vale do Rio Doce." The AP gets two quotes favouring the mine by two locals, "highland Indian Christian Huillca" and a 23-year-old, "who hails from a family of seven and is studying to become an elementary school teacher and who says, "What we want is development, education." An updated Reuters story has some more detail and several sources includeing Minister of Energy and Minies Jaime Quijandria ("there is potential for a mine at least the size of Antamina"), Xstrata's Corportate Manager Julian Rooney ("We hope to start drilling from the first year and to begin production as quickly as possible"), National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy Jose Miguel Morales ("I don't think anyone expected it to be so high. I thought it could double (the base price), not triple it"), Zenobio Maldonado, mayor of the nearby town of Chalhuahuacho ("As a town mired in the past we ... are convinced [the auction] will bring development"), and Valentin Roque, a peasant leader in the Cotabambas province ("some locals had walked for days across snow to protest the sale").

2005 Budget: Reuters reports that Peru's government has proposed authorizing up to $2.65 billion in new foreign debt next year, according to the 2005 draft budget submitted to Congress. The bill also said the government proposed internal financing operations of up to 3.866 billion soles (US$1.11 billion), including the issue of bonds up to 3.77 billion soles."

More LAN Flights: The Miami Herald summarizes a Lan Peru press release saying the company "has added four weekly flights from Miami to Lima and is now offering 11 flights per week from Miami International Airport to Peru. The added flights depart Miami on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, with an immediate connection to Buenos Aires. Lan Peru also has another flight to Lima that departs Miami daily."

Teaching English in Lima: The Guardian has an uneven narrative by Natalie Clark on teaching English in Lima which is part travelogue (combis, Collca) and part cultural survival. Though the paper puts the piece in their 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language' section, Clark spends little time on that theme and drifts toward architectural criticism and political commentary among other things. NOTE: "At the end of the first month teaching I was called to the office of my language centre and reprimanded for having too many students who had failed the cycle and was told to alter their scores." ALSO: "Other mornings I found the buses would be on a diversion because parts of the road were on fire- but fires controlled by marshals." FINALLY: "I soon realised that every Peruvian I met had an overwhelmingly negative opinion of their country because of its history of dictatorships, poverty and the memory that over a decade ago terrorism was rife."

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