Habich also said the Fortaleza river that Cajacay's residents depend on was not contaminated.
Most villagers are subsistence farmers who grow lima beans and raise sheep. About two in five children in the highlands region suffer from malnutrition and anemia. The town has no running water or sewage system.
People treated at the San Pablo hospital said they requested but were denied results of their blood tests or any other documentation that would attest to their hospitalization, which Antamina paid. Hospital director Raul Guisse refused to discuss the cases with The Associated Press.
Last week, nearly the entire village packed into a green cement building on Cajacay's main square for a nearly four-hour meeting with five Antamina executives, who arrived in late-model SUVs along with their bodyguards.
The company's executive president, Abraham Chahuan, sitting on a white plastic chair in jeans and purple sweater, spoke little as the villagers unleashed a barrage of questions.
He and Ricardo Morel, a vice president, referred to the spill as "the incident." Morel took constant notes. They said they were open to compensating people with health damages but that would depend on "technical and medical reports" that Morel said would be complete by Sept. 22. He did not say who was doing the studies.
"In the name of the company I want to thank you for the community's active assistance during the events of last week," Chahuan said. "I only want to say that accidents occur everywhere in our daily life."
Villagers also demanded an explanation for why they have not seen the promised $10 million reservoir to provide the town with water that the company promised in 2000 as a condition of laying the pipeline. Morel said Antamina would consult with national and regional officials.
Antamina is the world's third-largest zinc and eighth-largest copper mine, according to Xstrata, which along with BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, holds a 33.75 percent stake. It produced 334,000 tons of copper last year and 235,000 tons of zinc. Independent economist Epifanio Baca of the DESCO think tank said it earned more than $1.5 billion. Consortium partners BHP Billiton Ltd. is based in Australia, Xstrata in Switzerland, Teck-Cominco Ltd. in Canada and Mitsubishi Corp. in Japan.
Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar had demanded the company be made to pay the maximum fine permitted under law, or $13.7 million, for negligence. His deputy, Mariano Castro, told The Associated Press his agency's investigation is not over. He declined to say whether more serious sanctions could be ordered. A 2009 law permits egregious violators to be suspended or even shut down.
Antamina has not yet explained what caused the leak or why it took two hours to halt the slurry flow. Company officials did not respond to repeated telephone and emailed requests for comment, and refused to talk to reporters at the town meeting.
An Antamina document obtained by the La Republica newspaper describes some of slurry's ingredients as "highly toxic" and says they include lead and arsenic, which are poisons. Castro said a government analysis of the slurry could be ready as early as next week.
The government occupational health agency, CENSOPAS, took blood and urine samples from 52 villagers a week after the spill and six of the 18 children tested had unacceptably high levels of copper while one had dangerously high levels of lead. The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says children are especially susceptible to damage from high levels of copper, which can cause liver damage but has not been shown to be carcinogenic.
CENSOPAS only tested for copper, lead and arsenic. And it did not name the villagers tested. Mayor Felipe Lazaro, who provided the AP with the report, said he asked CENSOPAS for their identities but the agency refused.
Anti-mining activists say such behavior is typical.