Sienna Minerals (PPX’s Peruvian subsidiary) financed the construction of these canals with the aim of contributing to the sustainable growth of the inhabitants of Callanquitas, promoting economic activity in the area, especially agriculture. With an approximate extension to date of 12 kilometers, the canals were built by local people using a cement-sand–aggregate mixture (mortar) as lining. The routes for these channels had existed for many years prior to Sienna Minerals working in the area, but they were not functional as they crossed clay soils which did not contain the water, especially in times of drought. The 12 kilometers of mortar-lined canals allows water to move effectively. With the support of our experienced staff, the builders of the area were helped to select materials and chose the most appropriate location and trajectory so that the canals are durable and useful throughout their extension. The useful life of the canals is estimated to be 15 to 20 years without major repairs.
The location of the canals is designed to satisfy the entire population that participates directly in agricultural activities. It is currently estimated that there are approximately 150 arable fields that are managed by approximately 70 families and crops include potatoes, corn, olluco, yacon, wheat, beans, peas, eggplant, chiclayos, onion, among others. It should be noted that the population is increasing every year and when new arable fields appear, and the hydraulic capacity of the canals will accommodate some growth.
Prior to carrying out the construction, careful evaluation of the route of the existing canals was given. Once finalized, the channels were lined with a mortar approximately 10 cm thick to form a “U” shaped channel approximately 20 x 20cm depending on the existing channel, and the mortar was given a smooth finish and the fall adjusted where necessary to give a smooth water flow. The canals were built with local labor, providing work for the local population and they were supervised by persons with knowledge and experience in their construction.