SÃO PAULO Xstrata
Copper has confirmed that its investment in the Las Bambas
project in southern Peru will total an estimated $5.2
billionabout $1 billion more than when the project was
approved in August 2010.
The project, which is currently
under construction, is expected to produce at least 400,000
tonnes of copper annually in its first five years, with a life
span estimated at more than 20 years. Commissioning is expected
to start at the end of 2014, with production ramp-up in
"Las Bambas represents the next
major stage in Xstrata Coppers Peruvian development plans
that will result in combined annual production levels in the
country of around 700,000 tonnes of high-margin copper from
2015," Xstrata Copper chief executive officer Charlie Sartain
"Following the successful
commissioning of five projects in just over a year, including
our new $1.5-billion Antapaccay Mine and the major plant
expansion at our Antamina joint venture in Peru, this latest
review of Las Bambas confirms the progressive realization of
Xstrata Coppers ambitious organic growth strategy," he
Australia-headquartered Xstrata Copper announced in November
that the first commercial-grade copper from Perus
Antapaccay project had been delivered to the port of Maratani.
Antapaccay, which will have a 20-year mine life, is expected to
progressively ramp up to a processing capacity of 70,000 tonnes
per day in the first half of 2013.
At Antaminaa joint venture
between Xstrata Copper; London-based BHP Billiton Plc;
Vancouver, British Columbia-based Teck Resources Ltd.; and
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Corp.about $1.3 billion in
investments have helped boost ore-processing capacity at the
mine site by 38 percent to 130,000 tonnes per day. The project
was commissioned in December 2011 and completed in the first
quarter of 2012.
In addition, the company said it
had completed a project to extend the life of its Lomas Bayas
Mine in Chile by 16 years. Lomas Bayas produces about 75,000
tonnes of copper cathode per year.
Xstratas total copper
production in the third quarter fell 16 percent from a year
earlier as higher output from Antamina was offset by lower
production from the companys Ernest Henry operation in
Queensland, Australia (
amm.com, Oct. 17).
Ernest Henry produced 8,900
tonnes in the third quarter compared with 25,700 tonnes a year
earlier, when the projects open-pit mine was operational.
Xstrata has invested in a new underground mine at Ernest Henry,
which it said it is currently ramping up.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.