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Mining is a main driver of Peru's economy, but falling metals prices and delays to new mining projects have been a factor in waning GDP growth. This has led the government to a series of measures to stimulate investment, including new environmental rules and streamlined permitting. Meanwhile, copper and gold production is expected to rise in 2015 as new capacity comes online. The potential for mining investment in Peru is very high thanks to large silver, copper, zinc, gold and other reserves and an advanced project pipeline. But, many industry players are questioning whether the conditions are right for projects to advance in the near term. Experts point to a shaky political climate and deteriorating business confidence, as well as persistent and perhaps intensifying social conflicts. Many are calling on the government to be more involved in community relations, but at the same time doubt the state's capacity as an effective mediator. Companies will have to continue to place an increasing emphasis on their own social engagement initiatives and carefully monitor local politics, especially as the country approaches presidential elections in April 2016, in evaluating their investment decisions.
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