Minera Tres Valles (MTV) will resume operations at its Don Gabriel open-pit copper mine in January 2021 almost a year after it halted operations in March 2020.
The mine was put under care and maintenance earlier this year to safeguard employees from the COVID-19 pandemic and low copper prices, the Chilean miner said in a statement without disclosing the volume of copper production impacted by the stoppage.
The announcement was made after the Chilean Minister of Mining, Baldo Prokurica, accompanied by Luis Vega Muñoz, chief executive officer of MTV, toured some parts of the mine on Thursday.
Prokurica said that the company would rehire 300 miners once it reopened the mine, which is located in the Manquehua gorge in the Chilean Chalinga Valley. The miner’s processing plant can process 5,400mt of ore per day and is designed to produce up to 18,500mt per annum of thin copper cathodes.
Chilean copper output to fall
Copper production in Chile is expected to fall by 1.2pc to 5.71mn mt in 2020, from 5.78mn mt in 2019, according to the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco). Chile’s copper prices are also expected to end 2020 at $2.62/lb, 23¢/lb lower than the guidance announced in January because of the market uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Copper prices reached $3.06/lb on Thursday, September 17, down by 0.22pc compared the prior day, according to data from Cochilco.