The company recently decided to advance the studies on a second concentrator rather than expanding its existing operations, following a detailed evaluation of the two alternatives.
“We wouldn’t make the decision before 2021, and then only if it does meet our return criteria – the project still has to go to the board for approval. We are being disciplined about when to proceed with these projects,” Ivan Arriagada said.
The unit is located in Chile’s Antofagasta region and was created from the merger of the Esperanza and El Tesoro mines. It produces copper concentrates containing gold and silver, using a milling and flotation process, and copper cathodes using a solvent extraction electrowinning process.
Production in 2018 rose by 8.6% from the previous year to 248,000 tonnes.
“The scale of growth that we can achieve by expanding the existing concentrator is limited by...