Mepsa reduces supplies to Codelco

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Metalurgica Peruana (Mepsa), a Peruvian steel ball producer for crushers, will cut its supplies to Chilean state-owned copper miner Codelco after Mepsa was able to place a greater share of its production on the Peruvian market at higher prices.

Until January of this year, Mepsa supplied 60% of all crusher elements to Chuquicamata - a 630,000t/y copper mine belonging to Codelco - and expected to continue exporting to Chile.

But the company''s commercial manager Eduardo Irigoyen told BNamericas: "We have partially replaced Codelco's demand with other clients, widening our client base in Peru thanks to cost-benefits, although we have still not closed our deals with Codelco with respect to a certain tonnage."

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According to the executive, the amounts to be sold to Codelco are still being defined. "But we will necessarily reduce our supply to Codelco, because we were able to place our products at a better price on the local market," he added.

Mepsa has signed a contract with Southern Peru Copper Corp (NYSE: PCU) and now has a 60% share of the Peruvian market, and is supplying steel balls to Grupo Mexico (Mexico: NGMEXIC). "They are very good clients and we are also able to obtain better prices than what we got in Chile," Irigoyen said.

The company's capacity is 50,000t/y, but it is in the process of increasing this to 52,000t/y.