Cerro Verde to invest US$150mn in water treatment plant

Friday, June 24, 2011

Peruvian copper producer Cerro Verde will install a US$150mn water treatment plant to help reduce pollution in the Chili river, paper Gestión reported.

The river is currently being contaminated by untreated domestic and industrial wastewater.

Cerro Verde agreed to the investment following meetings with officials from the Arequipa regional government and civil society representatives, the report said.

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The plant will be located on the miner's concession in the region.

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.

Work is expected to begin in November 2012 and wrap up by December 2014.

Cerro Verde is 53.7% owned by US-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX). SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands has 21%, local precious metals miner Buenaventura (NYSE: BVN) has 19.3% and the remainder is held by various shareholders.

The firm is one of Peru's top copper producers.