Xstrata Copper’s Antapaccay copper mine in southern Peru commenced production of commercial grade copper in concentrates at the beginning of November and has delivered its first shipment to Matarani Port for delivery to customers worldwide.
Plant commissioning activities continue as Antapaccay progressively ramps up to the nameplate processing capacity of 70,000 tonnes per day in the first half of 2013. The mine will produce an average of 160,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate per annum, plus gold and silver by-products, in the initial years of production.
Antapaccay is a major copper operation with a mine life of more than 20 years, including a new mine and state-of-the-art concentrator facility. The mine is located approximately 10 kilometres from our Tintaya open pit mine, where mining activities are scheduled to end in the coming months, and benefits from Tintaya’s existing administrative and logistics infrastructure and experienced workforce.
On average, 4,250 direct jobs were generated during construction with more than 6,500 people employed at its peak. 100% of unskilled labour was drawn from the surrounding area providing extensive training and promotion opportunities for local people. The Antapaccay mine will employ a permanent workforce of around 1,400 people, with the majority of workers transferring from the existing Tintaya mine as it closes, and will create further opportunities for local employment.
Xstrata Copper Chief Executive Charlie Sartain said:
“I am delighted to announce that we commenced production at our major Antapaccay project on schedule and in line with the original budget of $1.5 billion, a significant achievement for a project undertaken through a period of industry inflation and global economic uncertainty.
“Antapaccay is the culmination of a strategy we initiated six years ago when we acquired the Tintaya operation in 2006. In this short space of time, we have added substantial value for the company, local communities and Peru through the successful management of the Tintaya mine; the confirmation of a further 1.3 billion tonnes of mineral resources in the district; the completion of conceptual and feasibility studies for the Antapaccay development; and now with the construction of a major, long-life mine.
“This strategy has resulted in important reinvestment in the Cusco region and Espinar province where our operations were due to close in 2012 with the completion of the Tintaya open pit. Antapaccay extends and increases Tintaya’s contribution to important local infrastructure, ongoing opportunities for local suppliers, skills training and enterprise development, royalty and tax payments and substantial voluntary annual investment in community projects and partnerships.”
The Antapaccay deposit has recently been expanded by 30% to an estimated total Mineral Resource of over 1 billion tonnes at a grade of 0.49% copper using a cut-off grade of 0.15% copper, including gold and silver by-products. The Mineral Resource contains 5 million tonnes of copper metal.
The highly attractive Tintaya geological district also hosts the Coroccohuayco deposit, with a current Mineral Resource of 324 million tonnes at a grade of 0.93% copper, and a number of exploration targets within our extensive mineral tenements.