Freeport-McMoRan’s Cerro Verde Mine in Peru Nominated for WHC Award

Feb 11, 2014 8:00 AM ET

Feb. 11, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Freeport-McMoRan’s Cerro Verde mine recently was one of four nominees for the Wildlife Habitat Council’s prestigious Corporate Habitat of the Year Award.

Nominees for the award represent those companies with outstanding WHC Wildlife at Work programs. These voluntary programs, certified by the WHC, aim to create, conserve and restore wildlife habitat on corporate lands.

While the site didn’t take home the big award, the nomination recognized several of Cerro Verde’s environmental management and education programs.

These programs include:

· Peruvian long-snouted bat management – Enhancement to the habitat for this critically endangered species included building bat-friendly gates to protect roost sites. The bats are the main pollinator and seed disperser of native columnar cacti.

· Weberbauerocereus weberaueri columnar cactus management – Rescue, relocation, and seed extraction/storage of the native cactus, which also is essential food for the long-snouted bat.

· Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) management – A census and ecological study was performed by capturing and marking the endangered species using satellite telemetry to analyze seasonal migration. Drinking troughs were installed in safe areas to attract, retain and keep the guanaco in protected zones and discourage them from entering high-risk areas.

· Lizard relocation – Seventy Tiger Pacific iguanas and native geckos were captured and relocated for preservation.

· Native plant propagation – Three native trees and three native cactus species were transplanted to enhance nearby wildlife habitats. Seeds and plant material from the Peruvian rhatany, a medicinal plant, also were collected and studied to assess the economic viability of reintroducing the plant in nearby areas.

Cerro Verde also monitored and identified bird, mammal and reptile habitats to help better understand the effects mining has on wildlife. These studies will be used to improve the site’s wildlife management plans.

The Wildlife Habitat Council works with corporations, government agencies and conservation organizations to create voluntary wildlife habitat enhancement and conservation education programs. Freeport-McMoRan has been a WHC member for several years, with many sites having WHC certifications for enhancing wildlife habitats.

For more information about how Freeport-McMoRan cares for the environments in which it operates, please visit their website at

Please see the 2012 Working Toward Sustainable Development Report for more information on all of their social, economic and environmental efforts.