Impala Terminals Peru´ is building the world’s largest minerals warehouse at the Peruvian port of Callao, says managing director Cristian Landeo. Once complete, it will cover 126,000m2. Part of the aim is to reduce the amount of particulates released into the air from the handling of concentrates.

Construction is reported to be three-quarters complete, with the roof now being put on. Work, which is due to finish in November, will mean that two of Callao’s mineral storage areas are covered. Previously, similar work had been undertaken by Louis Dreyfus Commodities at its warehouse in Gambetta Avenue. Perubar (Glencore) is shortly to follow suit.

According to Landeo, it is costing Impala $35 million to cover its operating area, which can be added to other investment undertaken in 2001, which saw the lead storage warehouse covered. Then, in 2014, a covered conveyor system was introduced at the port.

“The conveyor has allowed vessel waiting times to be cut from eight days to just a few hours,” he said.

Impala is a major player in the port of Callao, being responsible for 55–60% of total mineral traffic stored there. It warehouses concentrates produced in Central Peru by the likes of Volcan, Milpo,Votorantim and Chinalco, and has an area set aside especially for output generated by Toromocho, handling all its copper concentrates.

This latter contract involved the company in expanding its facilities from 74,000m2 to 180,000m2 at a cost of $70 million.
“Since 2001, we have invested $170 million,” said Landeo.
Impala’s turnover has been boosted by the new traffic, resulting in throughput of 2.8mt (million tonnes) and revenue of $60 million 
in 2015.

However, given the downturn in demand for minerals, the company will not continue its current levels of investment, particularly now that mining companies are scaling back production.

“At present, we are committed to completing the projects that we have scheduled, and to be creative in order to continue being competitive and won’t hike prices,” he said.

Impala is, however, looking at expanding into other areas. In the port of Salaverry, it is partnering Santa Sofi´a Puertos on a project to install a new conveyor system. Furthermore, in Matarani port, there is another initiative to create a further minerals storage area. Government go ahead is required in both cases.

Impala Terminals, which was set up in 2011 as Trafigura’s logistics subsidiary, now operates across 18 countries.