Antonio Montenegro, general manager of Activos Mineros, took the floor on the last day of the decentralized event Rumbo a PERUMIN – Consensuses for the progress of central Peru, where he affirmed that the works of Peru’s largest environmental remediation project, the Excélsior project, located in the Pasco region, is 83% complete.
“The deposit has amassed 55 million tons of waste in an area of 69 hectares over 60 years, and achieving its physical, chemical, hydrological stability has demanded an investment of PEN 175 million,” he said during the conference “AMSAC’s experience, plans and perspectives.”
He explained that the closure of this environmental liability has been divided into two big stages. The first is the encapsulation stage, which involves placing a cover with layers of geotextile, geomembrane, granular material, and topsoil. A section of this cover will be reinforced with geocells.
The second stage consists in installing 8 rainwater harvesting ponds in the top section of the deposit, with a reserve capacity of up to 140,000 cubic meters. In addition, a sprinkler irrigation system will be installed from the slopes.
He highlighted that the Excélsior project will benefit over 9,000 people living in the human settlement of Champamarca, located in the Simón Bolívar district, in Pasco, as it will improve air quality levels, as well as the quality of the river basin, thereby having a positive impact on the agriculture and livestock sectors.
Delta Upamayo Project
Furthermore, Antonio Montenegro mentioned that Activos Mineros is also working on the Delta Upamayo environmental remediation project, which has been at a post-closure stage since February 2019 and covers 48 hectares.
“This project consists in neutralizing the acid soils and revegetating the area with native species, thanks to a joint financing effort on the part of the State and the private companies Aurex, El Brocal and Cerro SAC, for a total amount of PEN 17 million,” explained Montenegro.
According to him, this project will benefit over 13,600 people living in the peasant communities of Vicco, Cochamarca and San Pedro de Pari—situated on the border of the departments of Pasco and Junín—since it will improve the water quality levels of the San Juan River by 15-fold, and the air quality levels in the areas adjacent to the project by 13-fold.
Investment in remediation
By year-end 2021, the public company Activos Mineros has disbursed nearly PEN 100 million to 29 remediation projects, which include 958 mining environmental liabilities and benefit over 237,400 people.
“Mining environmental liabilities handled by AMSAC have a historic origin that dates back to colonial times, to operations abandoned by State-owned companies, or to private operations run by unidentified parties,” pointed out Montenegro.