The Module 2A Group, waiting on an airstrip in Colombia.
From the left: Normand Dupras (Falconbridge, Canada), Stephen Denn (Centaur, Australia), Andrew Daniels (AngloAmerican, UK),
Ivanir Luchesi (Rio Tinto, Brazil), Denis de Winter (Eramet-SLN, New Caledonia).
Photograph by Mike Porter
After spending a night in a secure hotel on Bogota, the group departed at 06:00 am to fly to Billiton's Cerro Matoso mine by air charter. However, when they arrived overhead Cerro Matoso, the whole district was shrouded in a ground fog, precluding landing. They flew on to the nearest clear airstrip to land and await better conditions. Ground transport was arranged from the mine to pick the group up from the alternate airport. While waiting on the airstrip, next to a burned out terminal building, a group of heavily armed men in camouflage appeared from the tall grass to questions us. They were the army. When satisfied, they disappeared into the grass and we were left to wait for our transport. By early mid-morning the group were on site at the Cerro Matoso mine.
During the day the group was thoroughly briefed on the deposit and the operation and spent time in the open pit and the treatment plant.