Doe Run Peru Reports Significant Drop in La Oroya Main Stack Emissions

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Lead and other heavy metal emissions now in compliance with Peruvian standards

We are working continually to resolve the sulfur dioxide problems and anticipate notable reductions with the construction of acid plants for the lead and copper, which we expect to complete in September of 2007 and October of 2009, respectively

Emissions of particulate matter and heavy metals, including lead, from the main stack of Doe Run Peru's La Oroya metallurgical facility are now within governmental limits, according to data released by the company.

The progress is attributed to an aggressive modernization campaign and the execution of several projects to address environmental issues including emissions at the main stack, said Juan Carlos Huyhua, president and general manager of Doe Run Peru.

"We are gratified to see our environmental work produce this significant reduction in emissions," said Huyhua. "We are continuing our work and are committed to bringing these levels down even further," he said.

The company reported a decrease in emissions of particulate matter, lead and arsenic to levels within the Peruvian government's limits. Emissions of particulate matter have fallen more than 50 percent since 1997, when Doe Run Peru purchased the facility. Main stack emissions* are as follows:

  • Particulate matter dropped from 175 milligrams per normal cubic meter (mg/Nm3) in 1994 to 147 mg/Nm3 in 1997 to 72 mg/Nm3 in 2007 (through February). The maximum permissible limit is 100 mg/Nm3.
  • Lead dropped from 43 mg/Nm3 in 1994 to 38 mg/Nm3 in 1997 to 23 mg/Nm3 in 2007 (through February). The maximum permissible limit is 25 mg/Nm3.
  • Arsenic dropped from 30 mg/Nm3 in 1994 to 28 mg/Nm3 in 1997 to 12 mg/Nm3 in 2007 (through February). The maximum permissible limit is 25 mg/Nm3.

Dr. Huyhua noted that sulfur dioxide emissions have been reduced 22.5 percent since 1997, when Doe Run Peru bought the plant from the Peruvian government. Last December the company completed a series of improvements on a sulfuric acid treatment plant for the zinc circuit, which contributed to this progress.

"We are working continually to resolve the sulfur dioxide problems and anticipate notable reductions with the construction of acid plants for the lead and copper, which we expect to complete in September of 2007 and October of 2009, respectively," he said.     

Meanwhile, Huyhua said that as part of its work to address the health of the people living in La Oroya, the company has given priority to complementary projects, such as enclosing the buildings at the metallurgical complex in order to control fugitive emissions of heavy metals, especially lead, which were not included under the original environmental operating agreement. This additional project has required an investment of some $15 million.

So far Doe Run Peru has invested more than $116 million on various environmental improvements. Once the PAMA projects are complete, which is expected in 2009, the company's total investment on environmental issues is expected to reach $254 million, nearly 2.4 times the initial required investment.

The company is also investing some $1 million per year in a joint program with the Peruvian Ministry of Health and the Regional Government of Junín that is designed to lower blood lead levels in the people of La Oroya, particularly the children. The program was developed voluntarily by Doe Run Peru in 2003 and was recently renewed for three more years.

The La Oroya smelter has been in operation since 1922 and was managed initially by the Cerro de Pasco Copper Corporation, followed later by the state-run Centromin Peru. Doe Run Peru took over operating the facility in 1997.

About Doe Run Peru
Doe Run Peru is a mining and metals company operating in Peru's central Andes. The company has run the La Oroya metallurgical complex since 1997 and the Cobriza mine in Huancavelica since 1998, producing high quality refined metals while at the same time working to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

*Note: The baseline for measuring emissions from the main stack was established by the Peruvian government in its first Preliminary Environmental Evaluation, which is known by its Spanish initials, EVAP. The study was conducted in 1994 and served to establish Doe Run Peru's environmental operating agreement with the government for the La Oroya facility.

Contact:
Victor Andrés Belaunde
Doe Run Peru
vbelaundedoerun.com.pe
Phone: + 511-215-1285

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Victor Andrés Belaunde
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