According to foreign news on May 31, a senior executive of the mining giant Glencore said that the company plans to invest $1.5 billion to expand its Antapaccay copper mine in Peru, higher than the previously announced $590 million.
Antapaccay Mining Company managing director Carlos Cotera said it was advancing the Coroccohuayco project, which aims to extend the life of the mine by decades. Production has stalled in recent years due to declining ore grades.
“The Coroccohuayco project implies an extension of the life of the mine to at least 2045 or 2050, which is our forecast,” Cotera said on the sidelines of a mining forum in Lima late on Monday. "We estimate that the investment will exceed $1.5 billion."
The electric vehicle revolution has sharply boosted global copper demand forecasts for the next few years, with many analysts predicting a supply deficit after production and investment in key regions slowed. Peru is the second largest copper producer in the world, and its neighbor Chile is the largest copper producer.
Annual production at Antapaccay, one of Peru's largest copper mines, has fallen steadily from 221,000 tonnes in 2016 to around 150,000 tonnes currently, making the expansion project important, Cotera said.
“We believe that for at least the first 10 years of operation of Coroccohuayco, copper production will be around 250,000 tonnes per annum,” Cotera said.
The project had previously been delayed due to instability in the region where the copper mine is located. In September 2022, residents opposed to the expansion project blocked part of the mining corridor in the Andes for several days.
Antapaccay said at the time the plan was "under review". The corridor was also blocked amid unrest following the ouster of former President Pedro Castillo.
Cotera said the company is currently reviewing a "pre-feasibility study" for Coroccohuayco, which is expected to be approved in the second half of 2024, followed by a full feasibility study.
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