A Peruvian national and graduate of the National Engineering University (1941) and Harvard University (Geology, 1944), Benavides began his mining career at the U.S.- owned Cerro de Pasco Corporation. He worked as the resident geologist in Cerro de Pasco and became the company's first exploration chief. He was involved with the discovery, evaluation, and early development of the Antamina, Las Bambas, Toquepala, and Cuajone projects. Benavides was successful in bringing U.S companies Newmont, Phelps Dodge, and ASARCO together in a joint venture to develop the Toquepala and Cuajone deposits. In 1953, Benavides founded Compania de Minas Buenaventura, a Peruvian company publicly traded in Lima and on the New York Stock Exchange. He was instrumental in the discovery of the Conga, Tambomayo, Trapiche, and Chucapaca mineral deposits and the development of La Zanja, Tantahhuatay, Orcopampa, Uchucchacua, Shila, Mallay, and Anapite mines. Despite terrorist activity at the time, he forged a joint venture between Buenaventura and Newmont to develop the Yanacocha Mine. With a passion for social advancement and sustainability, he insisted all partners in mine development help improve living conditions of the locals and access to services by improving or constructing roads, schools, health clinics, and providing clean drinking water and sanitation in the communities near the mines. Benavides supported advanced educational opportunities to promote job skills beyond the life of the mine. Yanacocha became not only one of the largest gold producers in the world but a global model for social responsibility - sustainable development and wellbeing for all - which is now replicated by U.S. mining companies at many other sites around the world. Benavides received the Penrose Gold Medal (Society of Economic Geologists), the Gold Medal of Excellence and Lifetime Achievement (Mining and Metallurgical Society of America), and a Lifetime Achievement Award (Harvard University). He was inducted into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame and received the Order of the Sun, Peru's most distinguished honor.