Peru-based Compañía Minera Milpo has awarded a contract to Veolia to operate and maintain a desalination plant at the company’s Cerro Lindo mine.
Cerro Lindo mine is located south of Lima in the Ica region on the edge of the Topará River ravine.
Milpo said Cerro Lindo became the first mining site in Peru in 2007 that stopped using river water for its mining operations.
The desalination plant within the mine supplies the site with industrial process water without adding water stress to the region.
Under the contract, Veolia will use the reverse osmosis process to desalinate the water, prior to being transported 40km away at the Cerro Lindo site, which is at an altitude of 1,850m.
The plant has an industrial process water production capacity of 48l of water a second, which will meet the needs of the mine site.
Beginning 2016, Milpo plans to increase the output to 60l of desalinated water a second, representing a 20% improvement in the plant’s performance from its existing level.
Veolia Latin America zone director Ramon Rebuelta said: "Seawater desalination for process water is a rapidly expanding activity in areas of Latin America suffering from water stress.
"By choosing Veolia, Milpo has confirmed that the company’s solutions and expertise, especially in the area of water production for the mining industry, are crucial to ensuring high quality, environmentally friendly operations."
The mine has a production capacity of 18,000t per day and produces lead, zinc and copper with silver contents.
Image: The desalination plant at Cerro Lindo mine has an industrial process water production capacity of 48l of water a second. Photo: courtesy of Veolia.