In Peru, most of the gold is produced by medium-scale and large-scale mining. In 2010, 85 percent was produced by these two categories. Three large-scale mining companies accounted for 55 percent of Peru’s gold production: Yanacocha, Barrick Misquichilca and Buenaventura. Only 15 percent of the gold was produced by small-scale and artisanal mining.

Small-scale and artisanal mining is mostly performed on alluvial gold deposits in the Amazon. Madre de Dios, in the Amazon, is the region with the highest number of small-scale and artisanal miners. There are also some people working on primary and secondary gold deposits in the Andes.

In Peru, working alluvial deposits on land is called chupadera; on rafts it is called caranchera.  Unlike large- and medium-scale mining, which is identified as men’s work, small-scale and artisanal mining involves generally the whole family, as well as migrant workers who are temporal miners. In underground mining, the women are involved in pallaqueo, which is the recovery of mineral rock from rubble.