The administrator of the Doe Run Peru company, Rocio Chavez, announced Saturday that operations will resume at the smelter in the city of La Oroya, 185 kilometers (115 miles) from Lima, which was shuttered three years ago due to the company's financial woes and failure to comply with environmental clean-up requirements.
"We have come to La Oroya to tell all the people of La Oroya and Peru that on this memorable date we announce the restarting of operations at the metallurgical complex of La Oroya after its being shut down for three years," Chavez said on RPP radio.
According to the administrator, the restart of operations at the metallurgical complex will begin on the zinc-processing circuit, which as of Saturday "has its smelting furnaces burning and the reactors on."
"The first shipments of concentrate arrive today so we can start production in the next few days," she said.
In April, Doe Run Peru, a unit of the U.S.-based Renco Group, was declared by its creditors in a process of "operational liquidation," which meant that while they would not approve the company's restructuring plan, they would allow the company to continue production while the board of creditors further analyzed its situation and prepared to make a final decision.
The Energy and Mines Ministry said at the time that the creditors, including the Peruvian government, could have opted to close the cash-strapped company immediately and dismiss its roughly 3,000 workers.
La Oroya, site of the metallurgical complex with smelters and refineries that process copper, zinc, silver, lead, indium, bismuth, gold, selenium, tellurium, antimony and other subproducts, is one of the most polluted cities in the world. EFE