In the desolate, sun-baked mountains of southern Peru, a new black-topped road winds sinuously across the ancient folds and creases, carrying a stream of traffic to and from Anglo American’s new Quellaveco copper project.

Underneath the thin veneer of scorched vegetation, Anglo has what promises to be a magnificent copper deposit — one so rich that it will repay the $5.3bn investment made in it within four years.

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