The three-year contract with Almar Water will focus on ensuring the osmosis plant produces quality water for mining activity at the Mantos Blancos project in the Antofagasta region.
"This new project will help Mantos Blancos to guarantee the operational excellence of its water infrastructure, allowing it to optimise costs and increase its annual copper production," said Gonzalo Gómez-Rodulfo, director of services at Almar Water Solutions.
Mantos Blancos is a mining complex located in Region II, 45 kilometres northeast of the city of Antofagasta at 800 meters altitide. It comprises an openpit mine, crushing plants and facilities for processing oxidized and sulphide minerals.
Last September, the company announced a US$250 million financing package to expand the sulphide concentrator plant.
The concentrator debottlenecking project is expected to increase sulphide ore throughput capacity to 7.3 Mtpa from 4.3 Mtpa currently, prior to the expected depletion of oxide ore Reserves in 2023, according to partner Anglo-Pacific. It will also extend the life of the Mantos Blancos mine to 2035 and reduce operating costs.
During the first 10 years following the completion of the debottlenecking project in 2021, the mine is expected to produce an average of 52.000 tonnes of copper per annum at an average cash cost of US$1.87/lb (including silver by-product credits) with further production upside and mine life extension potential.