Southern Peru Copper Corporation

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Southern Peru Copper Corporation

Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC) is very recognized copper mining company. It is publicly traded and is the seventh largest company, in this industry, in the world (in terms of sales). The company also produces zinc, silver and molybdenum. SPCC has all its mining operations in Mexico and Peru.[1]

Company History

SPCC is born in 1952 when it is incorporated as a Delaware Corporation. In 1954 a big branch of SPCC is established in Peru. The company begins to grow and in 1969 a bilateral agreement is signed with the Peruvian government in order to develop “Cuajone” a very rich zone of Peru in terms of Copper. However it is not until 1976 when Cuajone begins operations. This is a very important step in SPCC history because Cuajone would become one of the most important copper plants in the world. With other acquisitions and a large list of triumphs, SPCC continues growing and in 1996 it is listed in the New York Stock Exchange. In 1999 Cuajone is expanded from 58 ktpy to 87 ktpy and in this same year the “Grupo Mexico” becomes its majority shareholder. This enables the company to acquire “Minero Mexico” in 2004 and make a record production year in this same year. In 2007 the company begins operations of new smelter.[2]

Business Strategy

According to the webpage of the company, the business strategy of SPCC is centered on 4 main points:[3]

1. Growing and expanding the operations: It basically pretends to improve its capacity to produce and be an efficient company

2. Continuing the focus on Copper: Related not just on the focus the company pretends to have on copper, due 70% of it’s income comes from the copper production, but also on the idea of growing the production and make it more efficient.

3. Improve the cost position of the operations: This is pretended to be made by three big strategies: a. improving economies of scale b. New and better equipment and production technologies and c. better utilizing of the metallurgical facilities of the company in order to make it more efficient.

4. “Maintaining a relatively conservative capital structure”

Political and Public Influence

Paragraph information

Political Contributions


Corporate Accountability

The company publishes, on its webpage, a very complete report of its corporate governance structure[4], its principles, values, mission and vision as well as its code of conduct and its code of ethics that promote the equality between all the groups of interest that interact with the company. It has very organized committees that have different kind of responsibilities. One of these committees (compensation committee) is in charge of revising, at all times, the salary policy and the relation between the company and its workers. It also has a chapter exclusively dedicated to the relation between the company and the community[5]as well as a chapter exclusively dedicated to the environmental policies and actions of the company[6]. However, the company has been involved in several controversies related to tax responsibilities, environmental rights and collateral damages against the public health.

Environment and Public Health

26 May 2005: “Peru Government calls for talks after Tintaya Mine Riot”[7]

This article reports the measures that the Peru´s government has taken to confront the difficult and violent situation that some Peru´s provinces were living due the strong and violent protest that were taking place in those provinces. According to the article the communities were demanding a “greater share of wealth” or at least “to ensure that their water supplies are protected”.

27 April 2004: “Environmental Rights Enforcement in U.S. Courts” [8]

This article, written by Hari M. Osofski, is about the options to which the victims of the multinational abuses have to come in order to try to make some justice. According to the author, although these companies make presence in almost the entire world, they can only be denounced in the countries in which the fault seems to have happened. This, on the majority of the cases, finishes in impunity and transgressions. However, the victims are now trying to put these cases in hands of the U.S.A. courts looking for a better trial and process. According to the author these big companies (SPCC included) could inclusive be denounced for genocide and other human rights crimes.

20 March 2003: “Peru warns Southern on copper smelter upgrade” [9]

This article reports an advice that the Peru´s government gives to SPCC. According to the article the company has to upgrade its produce systems and technologies in order to make its production less harmful to the earth and the community. If it doesn’t make so, the company would have to confront several fines that could even lead to the closure of one of its smelters.

Anti-Trust and Tax Practices

30 October 2008: “Thousands protests as Peru cuts mining royalties”[10]

The article mentions the big controversy that has been taking place in Peru around the way of managing the taxes that SPCC pays. According to the article a law adopted by the Peru´s congress would determine that 80% of the taxes had to go to the province of Tacna and just 20% to the province of Moquegua. Thousands of persons in Moquegua have protested against the decision for several days. The company has not made any declaration. This fact has evidenced the difficulties that Peru has in determining the way of giving out these resources.

10 July 2002: “Peru peasants march to Lima, protest mining damage”[11]

This article is about a march that almost 1000 peasant of the villages of Peru make to protest for, what they say, is the contamination of land by big mining multinationals (SPCC included). They reclaim actions from the government and say that their lives are at risk.

Social Responsibility Initiatives

Business Scope

Financial Information

- 2007 Net sales: $6.086 million

- 2007 Net earnings: $2.216 million[12]


The name of all the officers and members of the board of directors of the company as well as a short biography of each one of them I available on the following webpage:

Contact Information


 11811 North Tatum Blvd. Suite 2500
Phoenix, AZ 85028, U.S.A.
Arizona: (602) 494-5328
 Fax: (602) 494-5317
Ticker: PCU

- Peru Av. Caminos del Inca 171 Urb. Chacarilla del Estanque Santiago de Surco Lima 33 - PERU Lima: (511) 512-0440 Fax: (511) 512-0492

- Mexico Campos Elíseos N° 400 Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec Delegación Miguel Hidalgo C. P. 11000 Tel : (5255) 1103-5000 Fax: (5255) 1103-5567

The company can also be consulted by leaving a message on the following webpage:

Articles and Resources

Books on the Company

Related SourceWatch Articles


External Resources

External Articles

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