Cerro de Pasco

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Cerro de Pasco (sĕr´rō ŧħā päs´kō), city (1991 pop. 30,000), capital of Pasco dept., central Peru. At an altitude of 13,973 ft (4,259 m), it is one of the highest cities in the world. Cerro de Pasco is noted for its silver mines, which, according to tradition, were discovered in 1630. When silver deposits declined late in the 19th cent., the exploitation of other metals, chiefly copper, again made Cerro de Pasco Peru's leading mining center. Its products include bismuth, zinc, lead, and gold. From the nearby Minasraga mines comes about 80% of the world's supply of vanadium.