Antamina pipeline rupture affects 52 people in Santa RosaPublished by MAC on 2012-08-01
The spill affected the community of Santa Rosa in Cajacay District, Ancash
Peru's huge Antamina mine produces copper, zinc and molybdenum concentrates, and silver and lead concentrates as by-products. Located in the Ancash Region, at an average altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level, the complex began commercial operations in 2001.
The deposit was privatized by the Fujimori regime in 1996 and is covered by a neo-liberal taxation agreement which has come under strong criticism within the country. See: Peru: the mint with a gigantic hole
Antamina is one of the ten largest mining operations in the world, in terms of volume. The mine pit currently measures 3.4 km long, 1.8 km wide and has a depth of 700 meters. The Peruvian jont venture which runs the mine is owned by BHP Billiton (33.75%), Xstrata (33.75%), Teck (22.5%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (10%).
The port of Punta Lobitos, located in Huarmey, 290 kilometers north of Lima, receives the mine's ore concentrates through a 302 kilometers pipeline - one of the longest of its kind in the world.
In January 2010, Antamina announced an expansion project to increase its production by 30% with an investment of US$1,200 million.
Pipeline elbow rupture inside valve station VS1 caused a mineral concentrate leak
Antamina Press Release
26 July 2012
The population and authorities are being provided support for all actions needed to control the event
Compania Minera Antamina wishes to clarify that it has been determined that the cause of the mineral concentrate leak on Wednesday July 25th was a rupture of the lower section of a pipeline elbow inside valve station VS1 and not a defective concentrate plug as was initially mentioned.
This verification was possible following a new system check and a detailed review of the event. Initially the recording film of the monitoring cameras located in Valve Station VS1 led us to believe that the cause of the leak was related to a defective ¾ inch plug when in fact it turned out to be a rupture in the pipe elbow.
This is the first time that a technical failure of this nature has been recorded inside our valve station. It is worth emphasizing that this station has a contingency well located inside which has received and contained most of the load with a small amount that has flowed into a ditch but without reaching the Fortaleza River, and the flow was contained by company emergency equipment.
Antamina has provided the necessary support to transport and provide medical attention for nine people at the San Pablo Clinic in Huaraz who stated they were suffering from headache and nausea. Of these people, 5 are children and 4 are adults, one of whom is a pregnant woman. Following a medical examination and laboratory tests it was determined that all the symptoms have progressed in a positive way. The pregnant woman was thoroughly examined including fetal monitoring and ultrasound tests with results showing that all parameters are found to be within the normal range.
The Santa Rosa Health Post has provided medical attention to 52 patients with similar symptoms and all of them have been released.
Antamina is continuing with the implementation of its Contingency and Emergency Action Plan which consists of reducing risks and controlling the events in addition to obtaining approval to commence clean up tasks.
Huaraz, July 26, 2012
Office of Corporate Communications
Compania Minera Antamina S.A.