LIMA, Jun 25, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Peru's Mining Ministry has warned Doe Run Peru, a unit of U.S.-based Renco Group Inc., against using "excuses" to avoid a restart of smelter operations by the end of July.
Since it closed a year ago, Doe Run's shuttered smelter in the town of La Oroya has been a source of friction between the company and the government.
In order to preserve 3,500 jobs, Peru's government has been pressuring Doe Run to restart operations, but in compliance with a long-delayed environmental cleanup program. Environmentalists describe La Oroya as one of the most polluted places on earth.
Late Thursday, Mining Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a press release that he has refused to reopen discussions on the environmental standards agreed with the company in 2006, and told the company to stop making excuses.
Earlier this week, after Sanchez said the company had promised to restart operations by July 27, Doe Run suggested in a statement it could not reopen until the government takes responsibility for cleaning up La Oroya's contaminated soil.
The company said this "delayed work" was a "risk" affecting "not only the state but also Doe Run Peru."
Doe Run's polymetallic smelter, which normally produces copper, lead and zinc, was closed following a cutoff in bank loans that prevented it from paying for metal concentrates.