SANTIAGO, Feb. 24 -- Chilean environmental authorities on Monday approved a $750 million project that allows the 460,000 tonne-a-year Collahuasi copper mine to increase by 20 percent its mineral processing capacity.
A Collahuasi spokeswoman in Chile declined to say when the project would start, how long construction would take, or how much it would increase the mine's annual copper production.
The mine, one of world's biggest copper deposits, said in a statement that the project will increase its daily mineral processing capacity to 170,000 tonnes from 140,000 tonnes.
Global miners Xstrata and Anglo American jointly own the mine with a 44 percent stake each. Japanese consortium Mitsui & Co is a minority stakeholder.
The environmental commission in the Tarapaca region approved the environmental permit to expand the mine's concentrator that Collahuasi says will not increase the use of water in the processing of the mineral.