La Oroya – putting the $ in perspective.

I just read this Reuters release on mining giant BHP Biliton:

“BHP Billiton Ltd/Plc (BLT.L) (BHP.AX) will cut 6,000 jobs and close its giant Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Australia, writing off $1.6 billion, as the global resources giant battles a collapse in commodity prices. …”

Much has been written about the environmental situation in the Peruvian town of La Oroya, since it was featured in an episode of CNN’s “Planet in Peril” a few weeks ago. This news release simply illustrates that the money involved to clean up, move or close the Doe Run smelter in La Oroya is just not that big an issue. Mining is a huge industry, and if BHP Biliton is willing to kiss $1.6 billion goodbye just because the economy is slowing, Doe Run and the Peruvian government darn well ought to pony up the money to fix, move or close the smelter at La Oroya.

Read an interesting comment about Doe Run’s history in the US at americaninlima.com.

Ward Welvaert