La Joya Completion

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Molycop constructs a New Facility in Southern Peru?

In Spanish, “La Joya” translates to “The Jewel” and Molycop’s latest grinding media facility in La Joya, Peru is certainly the jewel in the crown of Molycop’s international manufacturing facilities since it was fully commissioned in November 2016.

Molycop has operated a grinding media facility in Arequipa, Peru since 1981 with an initial capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes per year.  For the past 34 years this operation has gradually increased its grinding media production capacity to 60,000 metric tonnes per year as a consequence of the increasing market demand of the Peruvian mining market for grinding balls.  However the continuous market demand in the region and technological advances in the production of grinding media has resulted in Molycop management making the decision to construct the new grinding media facility just 48 km from Arequipa in the town of La Joya.

The location of the site is important, as La-Joya is located close to major southern mining operations and projects such as Freeport’s Cerro Verde mine, the Cuajone and Toquepala operations of SCC, Glencore’s Antapaccay, Hudbay’s Constancia and MMG’s Las Bambas mine.  Molycop also operates a plant in Lima that services the central and northern grinding media markets of Peru.

The Project
This greenfield project was constructed on a 148,000m² site located in the La Joya District, 48km from Arequipa.  Civil works commenced in October 2014, with building construction starting in May 2015.  The facility commenced operations in November 2016 and now has a capacity to manufacture 174,000 metric tonnes per year of grinding media.  The facility also has the flexibility for future market growth with space allocated for additional production capacity.

As the new facility is situated in one of the driest environments on the planet, the design of the new facility has incorporated technologies to reduce the water consumption of the plant to the lowest within the Molycop group.

Given its strategic location, the facility is an extremely important supplier of grinding media to customers in southern Peru.  Molycop Country Manager for Peru, Javier Castro, says “Molycop has an international supply network of 12 manufacturing facilities located in key mining regions around the world.  The La Joya facility, is a state of the art grinding media facility that will provide us with the capability to not only meet the current market demand, but also the forecasted growth for grinding media in southern Peru over the next five years.  Due to our close proximity to our customers we can provide a short and responsive supply chain and in market presence for technical after sales support”

The facility has also had a positive impact on the local community. “The facility is a major employer in the region, both directly and indirectly” says Castro.