Alberto Benavides (1920-2014)
Founding President, Cia de Minas Buenaventura
Alberto Benavides de la Quintana was born in Lima, Peru and earned a master’s degree in geology from Harvard University following undergraduate work in mining engineering. He was the first Peruvian graduate of the Harvard School of Arts and Sciences. On return to Peru, Benavides was hired by Cerro de Pasco and at age 30 was promoted to oversee Peru’s Explorations Department.
On learning that Julcani Mine planned to terminate operation at Cerro de Pasco, Benavides boldly negotiated a lease and founded Cia de Minas Buenaventura in 1953. Buenaventura quickly expanded its operation becoming the first Latin American mining company to list on the New York Stock Exchange. For over half a century, Cerro de Pasco was the dominant Peruvian producer of copper, lead, silver, zinc and bismuth.
Benavides’ vision elevated Peruvian living standards. He was instrumental in the privatization of the Cerro Verde mining property and helped found the mining faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Benavides was honored by the French Government, the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Geology, the Society of Economic Geologists, the International Mining Hall of Fame (2014, Outstanding Innovator), and in 2011 by the Board of Directors of the Harvard Club of Peru with a Harvard Life Time Achievement award.