doe run

missouri capitol
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

A Missouri lead mining company has contributed $10,000 to House Republicans after legislators enacted a law shielding the company from large liability judgments in some lawsuits.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

A Missouri lead company wants lawmakers to override a veto of a bill that shields the company from large legal costs.

The Doe Run Co. contends its very future is at stake, along with hundreds of jobs.

At issue is a bill limiting punitive damages in liability cases related to old lead mining facilities. Several such lawsuits are pending against Doe Run, including one scheduled for trial in October.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have shielded a Missouri lead mining company from punitive damages in some contamination lawsuits.

One of two bills that would limit punitive damages in lead contamination cases is on its way to Governor Jay Nixon (D).

Updated 1:20 p.m. August 1 with reopening of smelter

The Doe Run Peru smelter in La Oroya, which had been clsoed due to financial and environmental compliance issues since 2009, resumed zinc processing operations over the weekend.

Peru's Minister of Energy and Mines, Jorge Merino Tafur, is reported to have said that lead smelting would also resume in the not too distant future. Restarting copper production would likely take longer, since that would require building a plant to control sulfuric acid emissions.

Doe Run Peru is owned by the Renco Group, which also owns the St. Louis-based Doe Run Resources Corporation. The metal smelting companies in Missouri and Peru have operated independently since 2007.