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Uranium Exploration and Development Legal Framework in Peru

Jorge Gutiérrez, International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development and Investment (2009)

Mining activities related to radioactive substances, including exploration and development of uranium, were reserved for the Peruvian State in 1975.1 In 1991, the Law on Investment Promotion in the Mining Sector eliminated this restriction and declared radioactive substances open to private mining activities.2

While there is no current production of uranium in Peru, geological potential for uranium mineralization in different areas of the territory has drawn the attention of some of the leading uranium companies in the world, who are conducting exploration in different parts or the country. The main occurrences of uranium under prospection are in the departments of Puno, Piura, Junín, Arequipa, Huánuco and Pasco. Uranium resources have been also found in at least thirty polymetallic mines.

With the exception of a few aspects, in general, the legal framework currently in force for uranium exploration and development in Peru is basically the same one that regulates conventional mining. For the most part, regulations particular to uranium mining are related to environmental, health and safety issues.

Under Peruvian legislation, mining activities are classified in different categories: large and medium scale mining, small scale and artisanal mining. This classification is based in the mining area extension and production capacity.3 While there are some co