LIMA, Jul 23, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Peru's Ministry for Energy and Mines is expected to begin the process of closing the Doe Run Peru smelter, said a Mining Ministry spokesman Friday.
As of midnight Thursday, the spokesman said, Doe Run--a unit of U.S.-based Renco Group Inc.--had failed to provide the Mining Ministry with financial guarantees related to the restart of the company's shuttered polymetallic smelter.
Late Tuesday the government gave Doe Run a deadline of midnight on Thursday to present proof of operational funding and other documents related to the restart of its smelter and its delayed environmental cleanup program.
Since Doe Run closed its smelter over a year ago, when a cutoff in bank loans prevented it paying for metal concentrates, the company has been at odds with the government over the when and how the smelter would restart. The polymetallic smelter in the town of La Oroya, east of Peru's capital Lima, normally produces copper, lead and zinc.
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 members of the mining ministry and the labor ministry met with Peru's Prime Minister Javier Velasquez to discuss the situation, the spokesman added. An official announcement from the Mining Ministry on Doe Run is expected later Friday.