(Adds context, comment on Conga and exploration projects)
By Teresa Cespedes
LIMA, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The new chief executive of Peru’s biggest precious metals miner, Buenaventura , said on Tuesday that the price of gold will not likely trigger an industry-wide wave of new mining projects until it reaches at least $1,350 per ounce.
Victor Gobitz told Reuters that gold’s recent rally, combined with the company’s rising production, has bolstered Buenaventura’s finances, which he described as “good” and on track to improve in 2017 after an investment spurt last year.
Buenaventura is scheduled to report its 2016 earnings next week. The market has estimated that its net profit was $41 million in the fourth quarter and $112 million in all of last year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Gobitz said Buenaventura was studying a long-term business plan with its U.S.-based partner Newmont Mining Corp that could include their shelved $4.8 billion gold and copper project Conga, which was derailed by local protests in 2011.
This year, Buenaventura will work to make progress on turning four smaller exploration projects into gold, silver and copper mines in the medium term, Gobitz said. (Reporting By Teresa Cespedes, Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Jonathan Oatis)