Bloomberg News

Doe Run Peru Partially Restarts Zinc, Lead Refinery

May 05, 2009

Doe Run Peru has partially restarted operations more than two months after banks halted funding to the lead and zinc refiner, a union official said.

Doe Run Peru, the unit of Renco Group Inc. that shut 95 percent of its operations in March, is operating its copper installations at 65 percent of capacity, zinc at 25 percent and lead at 50 percent, said Luis Castillo, general secretary of the Mining Federation, which represents 28,000 miners.

“The company managed to buy some concentrates,” Castillo said in a telephone interview. “But they clearly still don’t have the backing they were promised.”

Doe Run Peru shut its smelter after banks froze its accounts on Feb. 24 amid slumping metals demand and prices. Last month, a group of mining companies agreed to lend Doe Run Peru $75 million and provide $100 million of concentrates, the raw material for smelting.

Peru is the world’s third-largest producer of copper and zinc and the fourth biggest of lead. Doe Run spokesman Victor Belaunde declined to comment when contacted by telephone.

Copper futures for July delivery fell 6.15 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $2.0825 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division. Zinc for delivery in three months rose $15, or 1 percent, to $1,530 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, while lead rose $5, or 0.4 percent, to $1,405 per ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Emery in Lima at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at

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