The department of Pasco is situated in Peru’s central highlands. Cerro de Pasco (population 70,000) is a city in central Peru. It is the capital of the Pasco region, and an important mining center. It is connected by rail to the city of Lima. Average annual temperature: 12, 5º C.
At 13,973 feet (4,380m) elevation in the Andes, it is one of the highest cities in the world. It became one of the world’s richest silver producing areas after silver was discovered there in the early 1600s. Although the silver was exhausted by the Spanish, it is still an active mining center.
This mine is currently owned by Volcan Compañia Minera who bought it from Centromin when that State owned company was privatised in the 1990s. The last full year’s figures (2006) gave combined production from the underground and open pit mines at 3.34 million tons containing 58,300 tonnes of lead, 155,300 tonnes of zinc and 8.5 million ounces of silver though it is not clear whether this is the metal mined or actually recovered. The ore reserve position is healthy, with 40 million tonnes in reserves and over 50 million tonnes in resources.
Its first dwellers were the Pumpos. The ruins of their rustic dwellings give the impression that they formed an urban center for small groups of people.
National Sanctuary Huayllay
The National Sanctuary of Huayllay was established August 7, 1974. It is located in the heart of Meseta de Bombón, with a background scenery of the Huayhuash Cordillera in the Pasco region and Pasco province. It extends for 6,815 hectares.
One of the Sanctuary’s attractions is the Huayllay Rock Garden, a rocky region with numerous attractively sculptured formations, which has been formed by erosive processes of the wind, water, and the shifting of glaciers. It is like an immense petrified oasis in the middle of a cold and desolate plateau. Here, the inexhaustible nature has sculpted figures of men, animals and many other capricious forms. It is one of the best geological museums in the world.