Paz del Río cement plant project faces opposition

Paz del Río cement plant project faces opposition
Published: 27 August 2004

Colombian cement producer Cementos Paz del Río is facing resistance to plans
to develop an open-pit limestone quarry near Albán, Valle del Cauca
department, national daily El Tiempo reported.

For several years Cementos Paz del Río has been wanting to develop a cement
plant in Cerro Negro located in the Los Alpes area that mayor Néstor
González says is the source of water for seven population centers.

Twenty-two mayors of neighboring municipalities are said to be against the
project due to concerns that quarry development using mechanized mining
equipment could affect water supplies and cause environmental damage,
according to Gonzalez.

"The Paz del Río mining company intends to continue exploitation that it has
been doing in an artisan manner but now [will carry on] in a more legal
form," he said.

"Without doubt this is not only going to affect the appearance of the
mountain and the roadway but also the vegetation that allows water to
accumulate in this rainforest and run off into the tributaries that supply
the aqueducts," Gonzalez said.

If the project proceeds, about 2,000 trucks journeys per month, each
carrying 30t of limestone, would be required to transport the raw materials.
Cementos Paz del Río is one of Colombia’s largest cement producers,
supplying markets in Bogotá plus the departments of Boyacá, Cundinamarca,
Casanare, Huila, Meta, Santander and Tolima.