5/23/2017 - La Oroya Complex Auction
Doe Run plans to auction off the La Oroya mining complex to the highest bidder in July.
Doe Run Peru entered into the local equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings back in 2014 after it failed to complete the necessary investment to meet air quality standards. It completed a majority of the projects agreed with the government under an environmental adaptation program (PAMA), but not the final project that involved developing a sulphuric acid plant for the copper circuit. These plans do not bode well for the citizens of La Oroya, as they continue to suffer from exposure to lead and various other dangerous chemicals from the nearby complex.
If this auction is allowed to proceed, and this complex allowed to continually operate in its present state, it could prove to be disastrous for the surrounding community as the complex would continue to expose the local community to dangerous toxins in their air and water.
The town of La Oroya is a mining town located in the central Andean highlands of Peru, at an elevation of approximately 3,750 meters above sea-level. For more than 500 years, the settlements near La Oroya are believed to have been working small-scale mining operations. In the last one hundred years however, with the creation of the La Oroya Complex, production dramatically increased, contaminating the local population with it. The La Oroya Complex is located only meters from the city center.
The La Oroya Complex recovers 11 metals including copper, zinc, silver, lead, cadmium, indium, bismuth, gold, selenium, tellurium and antimony, as well as numerous by-products (e.g., zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, sulfuric acid, arsenic trioxide, zinc dust, zinc-silver concentrates) from the poly-metallic concentrates produced by the central Andean mines.
The local residents of La Oroya, in particular the young children and babies, are suffering from lead exposure, with the Complex being the source. The injuries the children and families are experiencing include physical and psychological problems, learning and other permanent disabilities, weight loss, stunted growth, anemia, headaches, abdominal and other pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, the cost of medical, educational, and rehabilitation expenses, and other expenses of training and assistance, and loss of income and earning capacity.
No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body.
-National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Emergency and Environmental Services
In the middle of the 2000s La Oroya was identified as one of the 10 most polluted cities in the world. During that time, a group of research scientists from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health in Saint Louis, Missouri who have studied La Oroya concluded that the conditions in La Oroya constitute a public health crisis that poses serious health risks for all population groups.
The Napoli Shkolnik and Rodriguez, Tramont & Nunez law firms continue to have an office and representatives in La Oroya.
The team is led by Jonathan Cardenas Romero and team members include: Liliana Camarena Cuyubamba, David Galarza Esteban, Marcos Camarena Cuyubamba, Cecilia G. Lujan Limas, Elizabeth Y. Arroyo Jimenez, Lizbeth Esteban Basualdo, and Greysi Paola Yupanqui Vilca.