Cerro Verde reaches water use agreement with Arequipa, says Buenaventura

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Cerro Verde copper operation has reached an agreement with Arequipa municipality to treat the sewage in the city in return for the use of water for the mine, Peruvian firm Buenaventura's (NYSE: BVN) CEO Roque Benavides said during a conference call to discuss Q2 results.

Buenaventura has a 19.3% stake in Cerro Verde.

"This is a very important step, it's very positive. It will have a lot of support in the area," Benavides said.

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Cerro Verde also reportedly plans to install a US$150mn wastewater treatment plant to help reduce pollution in the Chili river, which is currently contaminated by untreated domestic and industrial wastewater.

Arequipa's regional water and sewerage utility Sedapar will finance the cost of the detailed engineering for the project, while plant construction will be funded by Cerro Verde.

US-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX) has a 53.7% stake in Cerro Verde, SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands owns 21% of the operation and the remainder is held by various shareholders.