Molycop’s La Joya plant in southern Peru is situated in one of the driest places on earth. With no onsite water supply, water has to be transported by trucks to the plant every day.
Water is crucial to the function of the plant, with the largest consumption occurring during the heat treatment process which generates hot water that needs to be cooled down in order to be recirculated. Molycop plants traditionally use cooling towers to perform this function, however this technology does result in water losses due to evaporation.
After investigating the best available technology, Molycop developed a dry cooling system in collaboration with supplier Alfa Laval. Water treatment plants were also installed to recycle 100% of the waste water.
Javier Casto, Molycop Country Manager Peru said that,“Water consumption has fallen by 82%, which has resulted in a reduction in water truck movements to the site. Water is an extremely scarce resource, particularly so in this region of the world. It is our responsibility to maximize our water efficiency and save this precious resource for future generations”
In 2019 the Strategic Partners of the Mining Division of the BRECA group awarded Molycop’s Peru operations the “Sustainable Value Chain Partner Award”. The evaluation was assessed against the principles of the International Counsel on Mining & Metals (ICMM).