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Acid Plant Database  April 28, 2016

Owner Doe Run Peru

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Background Complex originally built in the 1920's by a US company and was known as Cerro de Pasco
Also known as Cerro Corporation (CICSA)
1974 - The Peruvian government nationalized the operation and made it part of Empresa Minera del Centro de Peru (Centromin)
1997 - Sold to Doe Run as part of Peru's privatization of industry
2007 - Doe Run Peru began a new relationship as an affliliate of our former parent.   The Doe Run Company of St. Louis, Missouri.  They are now equal and independent entities but still with a shared vision of becoming a global provider of premium metals and services.
Location La Oroya
Website www.doerun.com.pe 
Plant Zinc Plant Lead Plant Copper Plant
Coordinates* 38º 15' 37" N, 90º 22' 37" W (site) 11° 31' 32.5" S, 75° 53' 52.5" W 11° 31' 24" S, 75° 54' 2" W
Type of Plant Metallurgical Metallurgical Metallurgical
Gas Source Zinc
Lead Sinter Machine Copper
Plant Capacity 1967 - 170 MTPD 375 MTPD
58,500 Nm3/h (dry), 6.3% SO2
1008 MTPD
SA/DA 1967 - 2 SA 3 SA 3/1 DA
Emissions - - -
Status Operating
Temporary Shutdown June 3, 2009
Restart: 2013
Temporary Shutdown June 3, 2009
Restart: 2013
Under Construction
Year Built 1967 2008 2010 expected completion
Technology MECS Fleck Chemical Gas Cleaning: Fleck Chemical
Contact Section: Chemetics
Contractors Panamerican - -
Remarks Extensively revamped in 2007 Estimated cost of plant: $50 million

- Estimated cost of plant: $160 million ($71 million report elsewhere)
- 40% turndown capability on gas volume

Site Elevation: 3810 m (12500 ft) ASL

Pictures   Doe Run Peru - La Oroya 2.jpg (59168 bytes)  Doe Run Peru - La Oroya 3.jpg (100290 bytes)
-         Doe-Run-Peru-Cu1.JPG (51071 bytes) 
General Doe Run Peru is a mining and metals company that employs some 3,000 people at its operations in Peru’s central Andes.  The company has run the La Oroya metallurgical complex since 1997 and the Cobriza mine in Huancavelica province since 1998.  Together they produce high-quality refined metals while at the same time working to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible way.
Reference Sulfuric Acid Today, Fall/Winter 2008

Peruvian Town Faces Another 14 Years of Air Pollution from Mine - Mongabay

July 11, 2014 - Peru's La Oroya metallurgical complex halted all operations until August 9 because of a lack of concentrates supply, an official said Friday.  The former Doe Run Perú unit, which restarted zinc and lead production in 2012 after bankruptcy halted operations for three years, lacks both concentrates and capital to continue operating, Rocío Chávez, representative of smelter administrator Right Business, told BNamericas.  The smelter sent home 1,500 workers and only brought in management and emergency maintenance staff, Chávez said. Workers would be paid, she said, adding that the company's Cobriza copper mine was operating normally.  "We still haven't managed to line up supply, so this has sparked a force majeure," Chávez said. "The situation at the smelter is very difficult."  The smelter's unions scheduled assemblies later Friday to discuss the measures, Lima-based newspaper La República said. And they may, after earlier this month postponing a strike originally called for July 21, block roads and take over public buildings to protest a company plan to lay off 750 workers, the paper added. (BN Americas)

June 18, 2014 - A group of creditors for Peru's La Oroya metallurgical complex aim to put the zinc-lead smelter up for sale by December, an official said.  The former Doe Run Perú unit, which restarted zinc and lead operations in 2012 after bankruptcy halted operations for three years, is also holding talks with Trafigura Beheer and Glencore to secure lead supplies after slumping metals prices discouraged suppliers from selling concentrates to the smelter, said Rocío Chávez, representative of smelter administrator Right Business.  Creditors including Glencore, Trafigura, Pan American Silver, Buenaventura, El Brocal and Volcan, who last year hired Swiss investment bank UBS to sell the La Oroya complex and its Cobriza copper mine, met June 9 in Lima to discuss the sale, Chávez told BNamericas Wednesday.  "According to the timetable for the sale of Doe Run's assets presented by UBS, between November and December we should identify the operator interested in signing the transfer contract," Chávez said. "But there isn't a definite date."  About 444 of the smelter's 4,000-strong workforce have accepted incentives to retire as part of a cost cutting plan, Chávez said. However, the steady decline in copper prices has sparked "millions" in losses, as the Cobriza copper mine accounts for most of the smelter's revenues, Chávez said.  If talks with concentrates suppliers are unsuccessful, Right Business will inform the board of creditors, which should reach a decision at its next meeting in mid-July, she said. The smelter owes about US$600mn to a group of about 100 creditors.  "After metals prices fell in March, Doe Run's finances felt a major impact and we have a negative cash flow in 2014," Chávez said. "That meant suppliers didn't want to provide us with concentrates until the situation improves."  La Oroya, the only poly-metallic smelter in South America, can produce 122,000t/y of lead and 43,000t/y zinc, according to Peru's energy and mines ministry (MEM). Cobriza produced 19,578t copper in 2013.  Built in 1922 by the Cerro de Pasco Corporation, and acquired in 1997 in a privatization process by Doe Run, La Oroya halted its operations in 2009 after metals prices collapsed. La Oroya has the capacity to produce a dozen different metals, including copper and silver, but failure to meet environmental standards has shuttered the copper circuit. (BN Americas)

December 10, 2010 - Doe Run Peru will be required to build a $100 million plant to retain sulphuric acid emissions before it can restart copper production at its shuttered La Oroya smelter, Energy & Mines Minister Pedro Sanchez said.   The government may cancel the smelter concession after the Renco Group Inc. unit, which filed for bankruptcy last year, failed to reach an accord with creditors, Sanchez told reporters today at the ministry.  “The company must comply with its environmental cleanup plant”, Sanchez said.  “The other option is for creditors to run the smelter.”  Doe Run shut its Peruvian zinc, lead and copper smelter last year after metals prices plunged at least 50% in London in 2008.  Doe Run Vice President Jose Mogrovejo didn’t return two telephone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.  Peruvian metals output may decline next year before Xstrata plc and Cia. Minera Antamina SA complete expansions at their copper mines in 2012, Sanchez said   Copper production fell 2.5% and gold dropped  11% through October, according to the ministry.

March 1, 2010 - Doe Run Peru S.R.L. has reached a Letter of Intent with Glencore to support the re-start of metallurgical operations in La Oroya, Peru.  Through this Letter of Intent, Glencore will supply a line of credit that may be used as a working capital facility to help re-start the La Oroya Metallurgical Complex and as part of the financing that will allow for the completion of the Environmental Adjustment and Management Plan (PAMA) that Doe Run Peru has agreed with the Government of Peru.  This Letter of Intent has closed an important step in the process to restart operations in La Oroya. Doe Run Peru will continue to strengthen its efforts to make this re-start come true in the shortest time possible.  The company has ratified its intention to build a long term solution to continue to meet its environmental commitments and further improve the quality of life for the population and the future generations.

January 30, 2010 - Peru's mining, oil and energy association (SNMPE) said Saturday it has expelled US mining company Doe Run from its roster for not cleaning up its pollution problems, which environmentalists say are among the worst in the world.  "It has not shown... any willingness to comply with its environmental commitments and its obligations to the country, its workers, the La Oroya population and its creditors," SNMPE said in a statement.  Doe Run in 1997 took over La Oroya mining complex and the Cobriza copper mine in Peru's central Andean mountain region, where it mines for lead, copper, zinc, silver, gold and a series of byproducts including sulfuric acid.  The US company's La Oroya mining operation was listed in 2007 by the international environmental group Blacksmith Institute as the sixth worst polluted site in the world.   SNMPE said expelling Doe Run from the association would not affect its mining business, but noted that the company was presently in "a serious financial crisis."  The association said Doe Run had notified Peruvian authorities it would be unable to comply with an environmental clean-up program it assumed when it began working in Peru.   The Energy and Mining Ministry said Doe Run had only complied with 52 percent of the 2006 PAMA environmental program in La Oroya and needed another 160 million dollar investment to complete it according to plan.  SNMPE said Doe Run's "lack of interest in completing PAMA violates the association's ethical principles and code of conduct," earning it its expulsion.  The US mining company had already been suspended from SNPE in late June.

January 14, 2010 - Doe Run Peru, the zinc and lead producer that filed for bankruptcy in August and is controlled by billionaire Ira Rennert, said it is seeking a “strategic partner” to finance the reopening of its shuttered smelter.  “We’re holding talks with several companies that could help out with financing,” Doe Run Peru Vice President Jose Mogrovejo said today in a telephone interview. “There’s a lot of speculation right now.”   Doe Run, a unit of Rennert’s Renco Group Inc., closed its La Oroya smelter June 2 after suppliers refused to sell it raw materials. Banks halted lending in February after copper, zinc and lead prices fell at least 49 percent in London in 2008.  Lima-based newspaper Caretas reported today that Rennert is holding negotiations to sell the La Oroya smelter to Glencore International AG. Mogrovejo denied that Doe Run plans to sell 100 percent of the smelter.  Marc Ocskay, a spokesman for Glencore, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.  Peru’s government said today it seized $14 million that Doe Run had placed in an escrow account as a guarantee it will complete an environmental cleanup. Doe Run has 27 months to build a $160 million sulfuric acid plant to reduce sulfur emissions at its smelter, the Energy & Mines Ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

September 24, 2009 - Peru's congress has granted the financially troubled U.S.-owned Doe Run Peru smelter a two-and-a-half year extension to reduce toxic emissions, allowing the company to miss a second deadline to clean up the Andean town of La Oroya.  Doe Run closed the plant in June after lenders cut credit lines amid sagging metals prices. The company agreed to complete three sulfuric acid treatment plants by 2006 when it bought the smelter from state-run Centromin in 1997.  Peru's government initially said it would hold firm on an October deadline, but last week ministers asked Congress for an extension demanded by workers protesting to reopen the plant.  Congress approved the extension Thursday with 74 votes in favor and nine against.

September 17, 2009 - The Peruvian government is ready to give bankrupt U.S.-owned smelter operator Doe Run Peru an additional 20 months to comply with the Environmental Clean-Up and Management Program, or PAMA, Environment Minister Antonio Brack said Thursday.  The official Andina news agency cited Brack as saying that Energy and Mines Minister Pedro Sanchez told him the extension for Doe Run will be part of a bill soon to be sent to Congress.  “This is so Congress decides the extension of the PAMA by 20 months, because we believe they should also give their opinion,” Brack said after taking part in a mining convention in the southern city of Arequipa.  Doe Run, which declared itself insolvent early last month and is engaged in a restructuring, has already spent $400 million on a plant to treat sulfuric acid residues generated by its smelter.  The firm took out an ad in Peruvian newspapers Thursday to plead its case for an extension of the PAMA deadline.  But the president of Peru’s National Mining, Petroleum and Energy Society, or SNMPE, said Doe Run must offer financial guarantees that it can comply with PAMA as a condition of any extension.   Hans Flury added that Doe Run will remain suspended from the SNMPE until the company demonstrates that it can eventually execute the PAMA program.  Doe Run Peru, a subsidiary of U.S. conglomerate Renco has operated the La Oroya smelter – which produces lead, zinc, copper, silver and gold, as well as byproducts such as sulfuric acid and indium – in the central region of Junin since 1997 and the Cobriza copper mine in the Huancavelica region since 1998.  Amid the global financial crisis, Doe Run Peru was forced to pare down its operations to a minimum, saying it lacked sufficient funds after a group of foreign banks cut off its credit line in March.  After Economy Minister Luis Carranza stepped in and mediated, the SNMPE announced on April 2 that its member companies would extend a $175 million credit line to enable Doe Run, a unit of U.S.-based Renco Group, to resume operations.  Even with the loan, the La Oroya plant never returned to previous production levels and shut down completely several times, provoking protests by employees.  Doe Run has been a frequent target of criticism due to the high levels of toxins emitted by its smelter, which has made the nearby city of La Oroya the most polluted city in the Americas.

September 16, 2009 - The La Oroya Multi-Sector Commission, of which the environmental minister and deputy minister of mines are members, recommended granting a 20 month extension for Doe Run Peru (DRP) mining company to comply with the Environmental Management and Mitigation Program (PAMA). During this period, to begin only after the company receives new funding, DRP will have to build a sulfuric acid plant and modify the copper circuit currently used. If completed, this controversial recommendation will be the third time that the DRP has received an extension to comply with PAMA.

July 17, 2009 - Bloomberg reported that Peru’s government rejected a proposal by Doe Run Peru to reopen its shuttered lead and zinc smelter.  Peru’s government said that it will not agree to delay a deadline for an environmental clean up unless the company puts up 100% of its shares as a guarantee. The Energy and Mines Ministry said that the subsidiary of the Renco Group needs to spend at least USD 100 million as compared with the USD 31 million proposed last month.  Banks froze Doe Run’s accounts in February after metal prices collapsed and the smelter halted all operations on June 2nd because it couldn’t buy the raw materials needed. Copper, zinc and lead prices plunged at least 49% in London last year, leading to USD 124 million in company losses.  Mr Jose Mogrovejo VP of Doe Run said that "We’re studying a new proposal for suppliers and the government to be discussed in a meeting later this week. We hope to reach an agreement on this as soon as possible."  Mr Fernando Gala deputy mining minister of Peru said that US billionaire Mr Ira Rennert Renco’s owner must inject cash for the smelter.  The government rejected the company’s proposal to use a prior USD 18 million guarantee and tax rebates to finance part of its USD 156 million debt to suppliers. The government may extend an October 31st clean-up deadline if the company commits USD 150 million over an 11 month period. Doe Run proposed a 30 month period to build a sulphuric acid plant to curb emissions.

June 3, 2009 - U.S.-owned mining company Doe Run shuttered its Peruvian smelter on Wednesday, likely costing 3,500 jobs and threatening the closure of scores of small mines as it struggles to finance operations.  Doe Run Peru called the temporary closure "inevitable," saying it hasn't been able to find funding to "normalize operations, pay creditors, and complete the final project" in a required environmental cleanup, according to a statement published in local newspapers.Doe Run Peru, a subsidiary of New York-based holding company The Renco Group, has faced serious financing problems since March, after its lenders cut a $75 million credit line amid sagging metal prices.
A group of Peruvian miners and banks stepped in with a $175 million loan in April, but the smelter has since operated at 30 percent capacity, "leaving the company in an increasingly unfavorable economic situation," its statement said.  The 82-year-old smelter processes copper, lead, zinc and smaller amounts of gold, silver and other metals. Doe Run acquired it from government-owned Centromin in 1997, agreeing to build three sulfuric acid treatment plants to lower toxic emissions.
Doe Run says it has spent $300 million on the cleanup so far, but it has also delayed its completion by three years. Its current deadline is set for October, but construction on the third treatment plant stopped in March.  On Wednesday, the company asked for "flexibility" from the government in completing the cleanup at a "realistic and satisfactory" cost and time.  Energy Minister Pedro Sanchez in April said the government would be flexible, noting that Renco had injected $165 million into the company and offered all its shares in the smelter as collateral to guarantee the cleanup.

April 2, 2009 - Doe Run Peru reached an agreement with suppliers to resume operations after banks halted funding to the lead and zinc refiner in February, Peruvian Finance Minister Luis Carranza said.    Doe Run Peru, a unit of Renco Group Inc., which shut 95 percent of its operations last week, will restart its smelter “soon,” Carranza said today in a press conference in Lima. A group of mining companies agreed in government-brokered talks to lend Doe Run Peru $75 million and provide $100 million of concentrates, he said.    “This was entirely a private solution,” Carranza said. “The government didn’t put up a cent.”  Banks halted financing to Doe Run on Feb. 24 after metals prices collapsed because of the global economic slowdown. The move forced about 30 lead- and zinc-mining companies in the Peruvian central highlands to seek other buyers for their raw materials. Peru is the world’s largest producer of silver, the third-largest miner of copper, zinc and tin and No. 5 for gold.

March 20, 2009 - Renco Group Inc.’s Doe Run Peru unit, the country’s fourth-largest exporter, has shut zinc- and lead-processing plants after a group of banks froze its accounts last month, curtailing the nation’s metal supplies.    Doe Run Peru stopped buying concentrates for its La Oroya smelter in the central Andes, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by spokesman Victor Belaunde. The company may also close its Cobriza copper mine, Luis Castillo, general secretary of the Mining Federation, a group that represents 28,000 miners, said in a March 18 telephone interview.  “The company doesn’t have any working capital despite making money over the past four years,” Castillo said. “We will meet with Energy & Mines Ministry officials to find out if the company can be saved.” Belaunde, the Doe Run Peru spokesman, said the company is working on a solution with banks and declined to comment further.  The collapse of metals prices caused by the global economic crisis forced about 30 other mining companies in the Peruvian central highlands, the country’s biggest producer of zinc, lead and silver, to seek other buyers after banks “froze” financing to Doe Run on Feb. 24, according to the memo. The freeze prompted Doe Run to halt payments to suppliers the next day.

August 29, 2007 - Doe Run Peru said Monday it has begun the engineering design phase of a $71 million sulfuric acid plant for the copper circuit at the company's La Oroya metallurgical facility. The new plant, which is scheduled to be operational in late 2009, is expected to further reduce emissions at the La Oroya metallurgical complex and bring them well below governmental limits.   Earlier this year Doe Run Peru announced that lead and arsenic emissions from the 80-year-old facility are down to within monthly Peruvian environmental guidelines.   The new plant is the third and final stage of the last of nine projects encompassed under Doe Run Peru's environmental operating agreement with the Peruvian government.   Earlier stages of the sulfuric acid project included upgrades to the zinc circuit plant (completed at the end of 2006) and the construction of the lead circuit plant (begun in July 2007).  "Doe Run Peru continues to operate under agreed-upon timetables and remains committed to environmental awareness and operations that benefit the city and community of La Oroya," said Juan Carlos Huyhua, president and general manager of Doe Run Peru.  Construction on the new copper circuit plant is estimated to be completed by October 2009. Doe Run Peru's first steps on the effort have included contracting industry leaders Fleck Chemical Industries Inc. and Aker Kvaerner to look into the specific engineering requirements necessary for the project, including the necessary teams, design, materials, control systems and instrumentation.  So far, Doe Run Peru has invested more than $132 million on various environmental improvements, well in excess of the initial agreed-upon amount of $107.5 million. Once the PAMA projects are complete the company's related investment is expected to reach $244 million, nearly 2.4 times the initial figure.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth