The need for mine transport in Peru
All the world know, that a massive transport of minerals from mines is done by railway.
We too know that Peru is a mine country by excellence, as offer a great variety of minerals - and too because it is relatively easy to buy a mine and obtain a mine concession.
Nevertheless these two reasons, nobody has constructed any mine railway during the latest generations.
This has as consequence that only some gold mines, with their compact and expensive product + mines in general near the coast - or near the old and obsolete railway lines can produce and export. The rest of the mines in the Central Andean Mountain Range and deeper in - and they are many - are locked up. They can't create flow - and without flow they have no business, and because of that neither investment. These mine companies are dedicated to buy and sell concessions. Not to exploitation.
The Apurimac region holds 2000 mine concessions in their register.
This poor situation is not because of missing ideas nor projects.
The problem seems as the old and well/known dilemma:
"Who will take an initiative? - and whom has to pay the feast?"
Railways in Peru is a sad historyThere is very little political interest in a project of this size, because a project of this size can't be terminated within the period of election.
Therefore, we have seen no official initiative to construct mine railways.
From the time in the sixties when 'Southern Copper' had obtained their private train concession, none has been able to overcome the obstacle -
Since 1970 we have known the Railway Project of Apurímac - Marcona.
Personally in 1992 I have met the mine transport project of 'La Granja' of Cajamarca.
Both are projects originating from the time of president Velasco - 50 years ago.
Since then, the miners of 'Apurimac Ferrum' hase fought 12 years for a railway and a port for exportation - and still without a result.
- and we can ask 'Carbones & Derivados' - and we will obtain the same answer.
Recently (2018) - in the last days of the reign before thrown off - the president PPK had ordered his ministry MTC to launch an invitation to a 10 milliones dollars public tender around: "Consultant service for working out a pre-investment study with strengthened profile for creation of the project of "Railway Marcona port - Andahuaylas" (ref. Concurso Público 002-2018-MTC/10)
With other words: The task was to pick up and make a summary of what we all skould know until now
Today more than three years after the invitation, we still have heard anything from this tender
Peru doesn't have the political stability to complete bigger projects!
We feel it just as: "Waiting for Godot"
- the tragicomical drama where absolutely nothing is happening -
Cite: The world is mowing for money - but get ahead by organizationThat is not all. The examples of 'Apurimac Ferrum' and 'Carbones & Derivados' is showing us that a 'private initiative' from one mine alone is not sufficient to penetrate and obtain acceptation by the authorities. The state will not help a private enterprise. Therefore the mines need to act together and create a consortium of owners and users: An "United Freight Operation".
But neither this will be sufficient, to obtain the approvals from more ministries and governmental authorities, together with acceptance from diferent regions. That is something as only the government itself can obtain.
An intelligent try could be to invite the regions to participate in the enterprise - to join each railway company and take a part of the shares. In first instances paid by the mines and later recovered by the concept: "obras for impuestos" = a system to pay tax by making public works.
This will not only reduce the transverse bureaucracy, but it too can open the opportunity to use the tool "expropriation" instead of 'forced servitude' or similar. More nimble in any meaning.
For the physical construction of a 500km railway we need to calculate with around five years. To this time span we need to add time for technical preparations + bureaucratic processes + time to make decisions - plus perhaps a time to search for financing.
Price: As price for a mountain railway of 5-600km, without to know details, we estimate 2-4 GigaDollars.
But there is no way of escape for the mines. They need to pay the costs for their transports - pay directly as investment or pay indirectly as a service.