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Evaluation of impact of potential extreme rainfall events on mining in Peru

Version 2 2024-06-05, 00:59
Version 1 2018-11-08, 12:49
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-05, 00:59 authored by FR Gonzalez, S Raval, R Taplin, Wendy TimmsWendy Timms, M Hitch
The impact that climate change may play in the future sustainability of mining projects has become increasingly important for the mining industry and its stakeholders. The most significant areas of concern are mine infrastructure, supply chains, health and safety conditions, environmental management, community relations and exploration. This is particularly relevant to mining in a country as climatically vulnerable as Peru. This study focuses on the identification of mining regions and main commodities in Peru that are potentially vulnerable to future extreme rainfall events associated with climate change. From a mine design and planning perspective, this study is a first step to illustrate the importance of considering the impacts of different climatic scenarios on mining in Peru. Based on HadGEM2-ES global climate model projections, mining regions across Peru were clustered into “super-regions” with differing potentials of extreme rainfall events during the next three decades. Five indices for precipitation extremes were used, and their variations between 1971–2000 and 2015–2034 were computed. Current and future metallic mining projects expected to take place across Peru in the next 30 years were retrieved from a mining database and subsequently exported into a geographical information systems software to represent their location and interpolate the variation for each precipitation extreme index. The results of this study point out at a decreasing trend in rainfall extremes intensity and frequency in regions of southern Peru. For copper projects located in these regions, a decrease in rainfall events could also imply an eventual decrease in total precipitation and consequently a deficit in water availability during the next three decades. Mining regions in central Peru, with significant number of zinc projects, are likely to experience a marked increase in overall annual precipitation, average daily precipitation intensity, consecutive days of precipitation and number of heavy precipitation days. At a lesser extent than in central Peru, gold projects in northern Peru are also likely to experience an overall increase in precipitation extremes. The approach used for this research could be extended to other mining regions around the world with extreme weather events.



Natural Resources Research


New York, N.Y.







Publication classification

C Journal article, C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, International Association for Mathematical Geosciences


Springer US