National

Peru: High-ranking mining official resigns amid controversy

By Manuel Vigo

Luis Zavaleta Vargas, a high ranking official at the Ministry of Energy and Mining, resigned on Friday, after details surfaced about his ownership of the country’s largest gold exporting company.

Peru: High-ranking mining official resigns amid controversy

(Photo: Peru21)

Luis Zavaleta Vargas, a high ranking official at the Ministry of Energy and Mining, resigned on Friday, after details surfaced about his ownership of the country’s largest gold exporting company.


According to El Comercio, Zavaleta, who was director general of the Ministry’s hydrocarbon division, is listed as one of the owners of Universal Metal Trading, a company with offices in Madre de Dios, which is headed by his brother Marino Zavaleta.


The company sold 19 tones of gold last year, meaning sales of around $901 million – higher than Buenaventura, the largest gold producer in Peru.


The newspaper also said the company was thought to have purchased gold from illegal sources inside Peru.


According to Peru21, Zavaleta admitted to owning Universal Metal Trading, but said he did not inform the Ministry of his business because he did not see any conflict of interest between his post and the company.