LONDON Antofagasta Plc
will resume the development of its Antucoya copper project in
northern Chile, it said late March 27.
The development restart follows
the conclusion of a full project review, which included
renegotiation of the main construction contracts, additional
engineering, and the updating of the resource model after
The review provided greater
certainty about the development costs, Antofagasta said, and
enabled the mine plan to be strengthened.
Total development costs are now
estimated at $1.9 billion, including a $500-million impairment
charge incurred when the project was suspended for the review
at the end of last year. Antucoya is now likely to be funded
partly via project finance at the asset level, the company
Operations are expected to begin
in 2015, with average copper cathode production of about 85,000
tonnes per year in the first 10 years of the mines
"We believe that the Antucoya
project will be a valuable addition to the groups
portfolio of operations when it comes into production, with a
robust mine plan, which may further benefit in the future from
a number of factors, which include additional resource
potential and cost efficiencies," Antofagasta chief executive
officer Diego Hernández said in a statement.
Antucoya is owned 70 percent by
Antofagasta and 30 percent by Marubeni Corp.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.