Peru’s Fonafe to invest $33 million in water treatment plant on Yauli river

The National Fund for the Financing of State Entrepreneurial Activities, or Fonafe, announced on Friday a $33 million investment for the construction of a water treatment plant on the Yauli river in Peru’s central Junín department. The head of Fonafe, Jorge Villasante, said in a press release the funding for the project came from an environmental trust fund established with the Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd, or Chinalco.

Villasante said the plant will treat acidic runoff from the Kingsmill tunnel, which drains the mines in Junin’s Morococha district into the Yauli river. The Yauli river is part of the Mantaro river basin, one of the main water sources in Peru’s central Andes. The treated water will reportedly be used for agriculture and livestock, as well as for human consumption.

“The idea is to improve the quality of life for the population, especially for the nearby communities that can’t use the Yauli rivers water because of the high levels of contamination,” said Villasante. “The process and treatment of the Yauli river is integral. The tailing basin will be specially treated to benefit the area, that is to say, to be suitable for agriculture.”

Chinalco is China’s largest diversified mining company. In 2007, they acquired Peru Copper Inc. for $860 million. The acquisition included the development rights to the Toromocho copper mining project – located in Junín – which has an estimated copper reserve of more than 7.3 million tonnes. Chinalco expects to invest $2.15 billion in the project.

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