Chile’s state-owned copper producer Codelco’s board of directors has approved an investment of $1.24bn for the development of the Diamante and Andesita projects, which are a part of the El Teniente Division, the company said in a statement.
The projects, along with the company’s Andes Norte project, are expected to replace sectors of the deposit that are depleting and extend their life by 50 years, maintaining production levels at around 460,000mt of fine copper per annum. The new projects have 2bn mt of ore reserves with an average copper grade of 0.86pc and 220 parts per million of molybdenum.
The construction activities for the projects are expected to begin in 2021 and 2022.
The Diamante project involves an investment of $730mn and is expected to commence production in October 2022, while the Andesita project involves $513mn of total investment with production operations from October 2023.
Around $1.931bn are to be invested in the Andes Norte project which is estimated to start production in December 2023. The project is located in the deepest level of the deposit and will produce 140,000mt of ore per day.
The projects are located in the south of the country’s capital Santiago. The El Teniente development project portfolio is now 64pc complete. It began in 2015 and was formerly known as the New Level Mine.