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Acid Plant Database January 13, 2017
|Owner||Doe Run Peru|
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.
|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|
|Lead Sinter Machine||Copper
|Plant Capacity||1967 - 170 MTPD||
58,500 Nm3/h (dry), 6.3% SO2
|SA/DA||1967 - 2 SA||3 SA||3/1 DA|
Temporary Shutdown June 3, 2009
Temporary Shutdown June 3, 2009
|Year Built||1967||2008||2010 expected completion|
|Technology||MECS||Fleck Chemical||Gas Cleaning:
Contact Section: Chemetics
|Remarks||Extensively revamped in 2007||Estimated cost of plant: $50 million||
Estimated cost of plant: $160 million ($71 million report elsewhere)
Site Elevation: 3810 m (12500 ft) ASL
|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|
2017 - Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's efforts to revive
a nearly 100-year-old smelting complex could overcome a crucial hurdle at a
coming auction where five companies have shown interest in placing bids.
But celebration is far from universal given the sprawling smelter's toxic
legacy and Kuczynski's criticism of environmental rules. Reviving La
Oroya, nestled in a destitute region in Peru's central Andes at nearly 3 800
m, would mark an early victory in Kuczynski's plan to ramp up the country's
smelting capacity to wring more value from mineral shipments that make up at
least half of overall export earnings. Such exalted goals are of
little comfort to some La Oroya residents like Sonia Ponce, who worries the
government will not do enough to prevent a repeat of the smelter's dirty
past. Its smokestacks once spewed so much smoke that midday sometimes
appeared to be evening, lacing the soil with heavy metals to a depth of two
feet (60 cm) in some parts of town. Hundreds of children in La
Oroya have been found to have dangerous levels of lead in their blood,
including Ponce's grandchildren, who once had to spend their days in a
different town to reduce their exposure and today cannot keep up with
schoolwork. "They're constantly fatigued," Ponce, 56, said from her
home in a hillside slum in La Oroya, blaming the smelter. "It's very sad to
see young people grow up sick. No one can give them their health back."
At the same time, scores of La Oroya residents have been agitating for a
full revival of the smelter, which ground to a halt in 2009 but has since
restarted some zinc production. Dismissing pollution concerns as
exaggerated, they say the town, which has already lost a quarter of its
population, will wither away without it. "It's terrible to live like
this," said Marisela Perez as she waited for customers in her grocery shop.
"There's no work and businesses are closing." Finding a new owner for
the smelter while ensuring a cleaner operation will be a key test for
Kuczynski, 78, who once ran a mine in West Africa for Alcoa, as he seeks to
"modernise" the Andean country to cap an illustrious career in finance and
public administration. Five companies, including Chinese-owned steel
waste recycler GreenNovo Environmental Technology, have signalled
interest in buying the smelter in three days of auctions starting March 10,
said Luis Castillo, a workers' representative in the group of creditors
overseeing the sale. Kuczynski said last year the smelter would be
able to process copper concentrates from Chinese miner Chinalco's
nearby Toromocho mine that contain arsenic levels that surpass Chinese
import limits, forcing it to pay special fees. When the smelter's most
recent owner, Doe Run Peru, controlled by New
York billionaire Ira Rennert's Renco Group, operated La Oroya, sulphur
dioxide emissions sometimes surpassed the daily limit of 365 micrograms by a
factor of ten, according to a report by the environment ministry. "It
used to import highly contaminating material to feed the smelter that ended
up in the city and in residents," said Luis Egocheaga, the former manager of
state clean-up agency Activos Mineros that is still working on removing
pollution from soil in La Oroya. Doe Run Peru went bankrupt without
finishing mandatory environmental upgrades, saying it had invested heavily
to try to transform a creaking unit that had previously been under state
control for decades. A 2015 auction failed to draw any bidders as
potential buyers fretted over liability for lingering pollution, labour
contracts for some 2 200 workers and an estimated $700-million needed to
clean up copper smelting, said Pablo Peschiera, the director
of consulting firm Dirige, which is in charge of the bidding. But
Kuczynski, who declined requests to be interviewed, has said it would be
cheaper to revive La Oroya if emission limits were looser, calling current
standards an obstacle to investment in smelters. While Peru's national
sulphur dioxide limit is far stricter than Canada's, current law allows La
Oroya to comply with a looser standard until 2029. Kuczynski's
government has said it is revising environmental rules. "We want the
metallurgical complex to be reactivated, but in an environmentally and
socially responsible way," said La Oroya Mayor Carlos Arredondo.
October 6, 2016 - Peru’s government will likely ease sulfur dioxide emissions limits to attract investors to an auction for the La Oroya polymetallic smelter in early 2017. The director of Dirige, the company managing the liquidation of the bankrupted Doe Run Peru’s assets, told Reuters that an auction for the historic smelter and the Cobriza copper mine in the central state of Junin will be auctioned off in the first quarter of 2017. “It is difficult to ensure that the two units will be auctioned at the same time,” Pablo Peschiera said. “We will present them together until the board of creditors allows a piecemeal sale.” Peschiera said that the final selling price for both the smelter and mine would likely be around $100 million, and legally required upgrades to the smelter would require $700 million more in investment. He added that Dirige is lobbying for the government to absolve the new operator from Doe Run’s environmental fines. El Comercio reports that at least six companies are evaluating a bid, including Chinese state mining firm China Nonferrous Metal Mining (CNMC), a joint venture between Greennovo and ZincOx (EETAC), Southern Peaks, Global Resources Solutions, Stellar Mining and Capital Partners. A former Doe Run Peru lawyer told El Comercio that the Chinese companies EETAC and CNMC were most likely to win the auction. China is the world’s largest consumer of copper and Peru’s top trading partner. But China’s tightening environmental legislation prohibits the refining of metals heavy in contaminants such as arsenic. China’s state mining firm Chinalco, which operates the Toromocho copper mine also located in Junin, recently received a cash injection of $325 million as it struggles with billions of dollars in liabilities driven by environmental fines due to arsenic content in its copper concentrates. Chinalco’s director in Peru told Gestion that the copper from Toromocho is high in arsenic, antimony and other impurities. A labor union representative told Gestion that there were nine companies evaluating the auction, and that his organization had already met with officials from Greennovo. “EETAC has visited La Oroya seven times and they have a technical team of eight metallurgists from Greennovo doing due diligence now,” a source close to the board of creditors told El Comercio in July, adding that Stellar Mining and Capital Partners are only interested in Cobriza. Doe Run Peru declared bankruptcy in 2009 when the financial crisis sent commodity prices tumbling and the company could not get credit to purchase concentrates for refining. The company has over $600 million in liabilities, including $500 million in fines for not complying with environmental standards and at least $90 million to local mineworkers. An attempt to auction off the La Oroya smelter and Cobriza copper mine in 2015 received no bids, which analysts attribute to low prices for copper, Peru’s strict emissions limits and Doe Run’s pending liabilities. After the failed auction mineworkers in La Oroya held protests which resulted in one dead and dozens injured to demand the government take action to save the smelter, without which the town of 30,000 would likely be abandoned. While President Ollanta Humala’s government extended Doe Run’s bankruptcy by decree in order to give the liquidation process another year until a new government took office in 2016, it refused to relax emissions standards to the levels of Chile and Canada recommended by investors and workers. Environmentalists point to the lead contamination in and around La Oroya, which gained international notoriety when TIME Magazine ranked it the fifth most polluted city in the world due to “dangerously high concentrations” of lead in the local children’s blood. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in August backed a bill which ultimately changed Peru’s bankruptcy law to buy more time to find a buyer for La Oroya. He has advocated loosening the sulfur dioxide limits in La Oroya to attract a buyer. His economic plan calls for Peru moving beyond mining into value-added services such as refining.
14 AÑOS MÁS DE CONTAMINACIÓN PARA LA OROYA - Convoca
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)
"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.
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.
- 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.
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