The same vibrant colors that have made Peru’s Vinicunca, known commonly as the ‘Rainbow Mountain,’ so attractive to tourists have also made it stand out to miners interested in extracting the photogenic landmark’s minerals. A recent ruling from Peru’s government, however, will prevent any mining concessions to be taken on the popular tourist attraction for at least 12 months.
“The suspension of the concessions will allow the required technical and legal actions to take place, designed to demarcate and guarantee the care and preservation of this area that stands out with its unique geological composition,” said Francisco Ismodes, the head of Peru’s Mining Ministry.
On Friday, the ruling stated that no mining company can do any exploratory work or take out licenses that would involve Vinicunca. The decision comes after months of protests, according to a report from Bloomberg, which notes that local activists and organizations successfully thwarted a concession awarded to a Canadian mining company in March.
Vinicunca attracts upwards of a thousand hikers every day as it has emerged as one of Peru’s must-see locations for foreign visitors. Located in Cusco, the peak of the rainbow-colored mountain is at an elevation of 5,200 meters (or 17,000 feet).
Elsewhere, investment in Peru’s ever-growing mining industry is booming as current mining projects are valued at an estimated $58 billion total for investors.