Freeport-McMoRan/Cerro Verde will implement the 'Partnership for Clean Water' by working with national, regional and local governments in Peru, the ministry of environment, the local water authority, and other stakeholders to:
- Finance and complete the engineering studies to select the best possible treatment options and build the most efficient and sustainable plants;
- Work to ensure the plants are able to operate and be maintained for the lowest possible cost through partnerships that facilitate ongoing education, economic and strategic planning;
- Help establish efforts that ensure the public/community at large is educated about responsible water use, cost, and management to ensure long-term success;
- Identify and encourage other partners - NGOs, development agencies or banks, private investors or businesses, and others - who can help support health and local development in Arequipa.
The new water and wastewater treatment facilities will be built in modules. This will allow for the accommodation of current need, with additional modules to be added over time to meet the needs of population growth. The basic engineering is complete for the water and wastewater facilities and final engineering studies for the water plant will begin in September 2009 with construction to commence in 2010. The final engineering studies for the wastewater plants are scheduled to go out for bid before the end of 2009 with construction to begin in 2010.
Discussions have been progressing with the national, regional and local government leaders to finalize and agree upon remaining details of the plants, including final location, financing and scope. It is anticipated that before October 2009, agreement will be reached, contract proposals will be reviewed and a contractor for the water treatment plant will be selected. The two sewage treatment plants are preparing to go out for bid for the final engineering studies
Access to clean water is one of the leading challenges in addressing poverty, health and sustainable development in the region and the city of Arequipa, Peru, the second largest city in the country. After Freeport-McMoRan's consultation with the local communities, clean water was identified as the area's most important need.
After discussions in 2006 with the national, regional and local government, as well as private contractors, NGOs and development agencies; Freeport-McMoRan/Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde S.A.A. committed to support 50% of the cost of a new water and wastewater treatment plant to serve approximately 75% of the population currently without a reliable source of clean, running water. At the same time, the national, regional and local government committed to finance the other 50% of the new treatment facilities.
From 2007 to 2008, Freeport-McMoRan (and its Cerro Verde mine) invested in the engineering feasibility studies to determine the best sustainable options for constructing the new treatment facilities. It was determined that the new water and wastewater treatment facilities would be built in modules to accommodate current need which could be expanded over time (by adding additional modules) to meet anticipated population growth.
In 2008, Freeport-McMoRan/Cerro Verde, in partnership with the government, announced a dedicated Water Treatment Trust Fund to which Cerro Verde contributed million USD. In August 2009, the government established a parallel Trust Fund with several deposits. Government agencies have committed in writing to contribute about million to date.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold and its Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde operation is seeking financial assistance, implementing partners, and best practice information: Qualified NGOs, donor agencies, and other health stakeholders who can assist with capacity building activities, or education and expertise to help ensure long-term sustainability of the plants and clean water activities.
Freeport-McMoRan can offer best practice information, assistance with offices, warehouse and storage facilities (available through government agencies or local universities), as well as logistical and facilitation support to connect potential partners with the right government and community leaders.