Making a positive impact on the mining industry, academia and community
relations in Peru.
Presented by Jack Goth, President
Alberto Benavides Patriarch of Peruvian Mining
(February 13, 2014) Alberto Benavides de la Quintana has died at age 93. He was the founder of Peru's largest locally owned precious metals producer, Compania de Minas Buenaventura, and spearheaded the construction of one of the world's largest gold mines. He also led a drive to list Peruvian companies on the NYSE. In 2013, he joined the FORBES list of the World's Billionaires based on the 27% stake he and his family own in Buenaventura. It controls four mines, two gold, two silver, and 43.5 percent of the Yanacocha gold mine, the largest open-face gold mine in the world. The son of a former Lima mayor, Harvard-educated Benavides founded Buenaventura in 1953. He was a geologist by profession and considered the most important mining entrepreneur in Peru’s history.
In the 50s he returned to Peru after he earned a master's degree at the University of Harvard. At that time, he began working in the most important mining company of the time, Cerro de Pasco Corporation. In 1951 he bought his first mine "Julcani" located in Huancavelica. This acquisition allowed him to shape what shortly thereafter became Sociedad Minera Buenaventura.
In 1971 he resigned from Cerro and became head of the Mining Engineering School at the Catholic University of Peru. In 1976 he rejoined Buenaventura as Chairman of the Board and CEO until 2001, when he resigned as CEO but continued as Chairman of the Board. He was Vice Chairman of Yanacocha's Executive Committee since 1992. He also has served as a director of numerous other mining and mining-related companies. He spent a total of 17 years (1944-1952 and 1964-1971) with Cerro de Pasco Corporation, a Delaware corporation engaged in the mining business, where he was in various management and executive positions involved in the exploration and geology of mines in Peru. He served as President of the Privatization Committee for Centromín from 1992 to 1994 and as director of the Banco Central de Reserva del Peru (the Central Reserve Bank of Peru) from 1992 to 2000. He received a B.S. degree in Engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (National University of Engineering, or UNI) in Peru in 1941 and an M.S. in Geology from Harvard University in 1944 and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School in 1971.
He saw Peru's mining industry grow from infancy into one of the largest in the world: the second highest producer of silver, the fourth of zinc, fifth of copper and eighth of gold.