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Peru approves $2 billion Antamina copper mine expansion

Peru’s environmental watchdog has granted Antamina, the country’s largest copper-zinc mine, a long-awaited permit that allows it to kick off a $2 billion expansion to extend the operation’s productive life from 2028 to 2036.

The Modification of the Environmental Impact Study (MEIA) approval allows the mine, co-owned by Glencore (LON: GLEN), BHP (ASX, LON: BHP), Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.A, TECK.B)(NYSE: TECK) and Mitsubishi (TYO: 8058), to apply changes within existing components. These include the expansion of the open pit and the optimization of the mine’s dumps and tailings dam. 

“The MEIA is an important milestone for Antamina and the Peruvian mining industry (…) It broadens our horizon and allows us to continue working hand in hand with the authorities and communities,” Víctor Gobitz, president and chief executive of Antamina said in the statement.

As outlined in the approved document, Antamina’s mine area will be increased by 25% and the open pit will be deepened by 150 metres. This represents an extraction of up to 173,000 tonnes of ore a day, with a waste movement of up to about 742,000 tonnes daily.

The project also includes replacing the primary ore crushing station and installing a new rock crusher. Dam storage capacity will be increased to 1,572 million tonnes from the current 1,100 million tonnes.

The granting of the permit comes only a week after representatives from the largest mining companies operating in the country met with Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, Oscar Vera, to provide feedback on a new digital initiative expected to speed up permitting in the world’s second largest copper producing nation.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More