Canada miner refurbishes Peru’s 800-kW Pasto Bueno

Canada tungsten miner Malaga Inc. has completed first phase renovation of the 800-kW Pasto Bueno hydroelectric project and is beginning the final phase to restore and upgrade the project on northern Peru’s Lake Pelagatos.

Malaga said the first phase was completed in December 2007 with the commissioning of one of the project’s two Pelton turbine-generators, powering Malaga’s Pasto Bueno mining operation. Final technical conformity tests were completed in March, enabling the firm to begin rehabilitation of the second phase. Full commissioning is expected in mid-2008.

The hydro project originally was built in the 1950s with an 800-kW installed capacity. Malaga did not state the total capacity of the renovated project.

The hydro plant’s two units operate under a head of 170 meters. It has a 22.9-kilovolt transmission line. Two new 22.9-kilovolt/380-volt substations were built on the Huaura mining compound to supply an ore crushing plant and main mining galleries with energy.

Malaga President Jean Martineau said the Pasto Bueno project will help the company reduce carbon emissions and save more than US$500,000 per year in fuel costs.

Pasto Bueno is being rehabilitated by Malaga subsidiary Hidropesac S.A. in partnership with Electrokraft S.A., a Peru energy company, and Swiss companies Emerging Power Developers Ltd. and Stucky Ltd. Electrokraft and Emerging Power own 5 percent and 51 percent of Hidropesac, while Malaga owns 44 percent.

Malaga said it is pursuing the hydroelectric potential of Pasto Bueno with Hidropesac and Dynacor Gold Mines Inc., of which Malaga owns 13.3 percent.

Dynacor signed an agreement with Emerging Power Developers in 2007 to develop the hydroelectric potential of the Pelagatos River to supply the Pasto Bueno mine. (HNN 2/16/07) At that time, Dynacor said a new company would be created to finance, develop, and operate future hydroelectric projects.

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