04.08.2010 | Editor: Marcel Dröttboom
Brisbane (QLD), Australia – Xstrata plc has approved the development of the Las Bambas copper project in southern Peru’s Apurimac Region. Project development will entail investment of USD 4.2 billion and construction is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approvals.
The Las Bambas Copper Project will have an initial production of 400000 tonnes per year of copper in concentrate, including significant gold, silver and molybdenum by-products, and first quartile cash costs. First ore is expected to be processed in the second quarter of 2014 with ramp up and full production reached by the end of that year. A substantial resource base contained within three open pit mines provides a mine life of at least 18 years with significant further brownfield potential in the highly prospective Las Bambas Mineral District.
The recently announced USD 1.47 billion Antapaccay expansion to the Tintaya operation paves the way for the development of the major Las Bambas greenfield project and together these projects will establish Southern Peru as a first tier copper-producing division for the Xstrata Group. The Antapaccay development will expand production at Tintaya by 60 percent to 160000 tonnes per year, while extending the mine life by at least 20 years.
Located 150 kilometres apart, the Las Bambas and Antapaccay projects will benefit from important synergies. Concentrates from Las Bambas will be pumped through a 215 kilometre pipeline to a molybdenum and filter plant close to Tintaya-Antapaccay and then transported by the same railroad to Matarani Port. The projects will also share the existing Tintaya road network, a connecting road along the pipeline corridor, an established logistics centre in Arequipa, the expanded existing Matarani Port facilities and will benefit from shared management and administrative support functions to minimise overheads. Whilst being developed under dedicated project management organisation structures, key trained work teams will move sequentially from the construction of Antapaccay to the Las Bambas project, ensuring that the project is properly resourced and minimising delays or costs associated with the availability of skills. As with the Antapaccay project, the development of the Las Bambas project will be led by a Xstrata Copper team in a strategic alliance with engineering construction and project management company Bechtel.
Ore will be mined at a rate of 51.1 million tonnes per year from three open pit mines (initially Ferrobamba, then Chalcobamba and Sulfobamba pits) and processed in a 140000 tonnes per day sulphide grinding/flotation concentrator. The development of Las Bambas will generate an average of approximately 3600 direct jobs during construction and 1350 permanent jobs once in operation.
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