Gold has become Peru's main export.
In Q1...it accounted for 23% of total exports...or $2.57 billion usd.
Gold ore now accounts for 39% of Peru's mining exports.
Gold exports soared 30% in 2011...to $10.1 billion usd.
Despite gold's importance to the economy...new mining projects have upset many residents...worried about environmental damage...often resulting in protests and increasing violence.