Mining companies in Peru invested U$7.2 billion in 2011, up 77% from the prior year, the government said.
The Mines and Energy Ministry said that mining companies invested US$1.39 billion on infrastructure, US$1.12 billion on processing plant equipment and US$853 million on production.
Companies also spent US$849 million on exploration, $787 million on preparation activities last year and just over US$700 million on mining equipment, the ministry said. It categorized US$1.42 billion as "other."
Gold producer Minera Yanacocha invested US$1.15 billion in 2011, nearly quadruple the prior year, the ministry said.
Yanacocha, majority held by Newmont Mining Corp., operates South America's largest gold mine and owns the Minas Conga project, Peru's biggest mining development requiring an investment of up to US$4.8 billion.
The ministry said that Xstrata PLC invested US$763 million last year in its Las Bambas project and $668 million in its Tintaya project, both located in southern Peru.
Minera Chinalco Peru SA's investments totaled US$750 million in 2011, while Compania Minera Antamina had investments of US$640 million, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Peru is the world's second biggest producer of copper and silver and a major producer of gold, zinc, lead and other minerals. Mining companies plan to invest about $50 billion in new mines and expansion projects this decade, according to the ministry.