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Peru court order US mining firm to pay $163 million

The Doe Run Mining complex in the Andean community of La Oroya on May 31, 2007

American mining concern Doe Run must pay $163 million for failing to take sufficient environmental measures at its site in La Oraya, Peru's high court announced Saturday.

One of the world's largest producers of lead, Doe Run at the Peru site also produces copper and other metals that create large amounts of polluting byproducts.

Its contract, which Peru says the company failed to honor, requires that it take stringent preventive measures to safeguard the environment in the area.

Peru sued the company after it failed to build a treatment plant to reduce the emissions, and the court has ruled in its favor, officials announced.

A report last year by the International Federation for Human Rights found that "the air been contaminated by emissions of lead and other heavy metals spewed from the chimneys of the refinery," run by Doe Run and that the water and soil also had been contaminated.