La Rinconada, Peru

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La Rinconada
View of the city
View of the city
Flag of La Rinconada
Official seal of La Rinconada
La Rinconada is located in Peru
La Rinconada
La Rinconada
Coordinates: 14°37′57″S 69°26′45″W / 14.63250°S 69.44583°W / -14.63250; -69.44583Coordinates: 14°37′57″S 69°26′45″W / 14.63250°S 69.44583°W / -14.63250; -69.44583
Country  Peru
Region Puno
Province San Antonio de Putina
District Ananea
Elevation 5,100 m (16,700 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 50,000

La Rinconada is a city in the Peruvian Andes located near a gold mine.[1] It is the highest elevation human habitation in the world.[2][3]


The city is located in the Ananea District, San Antonio de Putina Province. It lies at a height of 5,100 m (16,732.28 feet) above sea level.


The population had grown from the year 2001 to 2009 to 30,000 inhabitants, as the price of gold rose 235% in the same time.[4]

Economy and infrastructure[edit]

The economy is mainly based on the production of gold in the nearby mine.

Many miners work at the gold mine owned by Corporación Ananea. Under the cachorreo system they work for 30 days without payment. On the 31st day they are allowed to take with them as much ore as they can carry on their shoulders.[4] Whether the ore contains any gold or not is a matter of luck.

Environmental problems[edit]

The city has no plumbing and no sanitation system.[4] Besides having no sewage system there is significant contamination with mercury due to the mining practices. Local miners refine the ore by grinding and treating it with mercury and pressing the mass through a cloth to filter it. The resulting amalgam is heated to remove the mercury.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]