Los Pelambres expansion coming next year

Chilean-focused miner Antofagasta is reportedly making preparations to begin a US$1.3-billion expansion to its flagship Los Pelambres copper operation, 240km north-east of Santiago, next year
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The $1.3-billion expansion plan, if approved, could start in January 2019

Staff Reporter

According to a Reuters wire report, CEO Ivan Arriagada said September 5 in a mining forum that he is now waiting for board approval on the plan by the end of the year, so that the work, which will include an increase to grinding capacity and the installation of a water desalination plant, can begin in January.

Environmental approval for the three-phase upgrade project, first announced in 2016, was received in February. The plant is aiming to maintain copper output at Los Pelambres at an annual rate of 400,000t.

Antofagasta also wanted to examine the potential to expand its Centinela mine, or construct new equipment for the operation.

The executive said the company projects a production range for this year of between 705,000t and 740,000t of copper.