Buenaventura chief executive Victor Gobitzhas confirmed that the company has submitted a proposal to work with Southern Copperto jointly develop the $2bn Michiquillay copper project in Peru.

The Michiquillay deposit is located in the northern Andes and Buenaventura operates an open-pit gold mine in the region.

The precious metals chief executive was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Our logic is that there would be synergies. You create more value.

“Our logic is that there would be synergies. You create more value.”

“They were receptive … but it’s up to them to evaluate the preliminary proposal.”

Southern Copper acquired the Michiquillay deposit for $400m in February this year through a public bidding process.

With estimated mineral resources of 1,150 million tonnes and a copper grade of 0.63%, the project is expected to produce 225,000t of copper per annum for an initial mine life of more than 25 years.

The company expects to commence production at the project in 2025.

The parties are joint partners in Peruvian mines and together own the Coimolache mining company, which operates in the country, the news agency reported.

Previously, Buenaventura and Southern Copper called off plans to build mining projects in the country in the face of protests on environmental grounds.

In 2015, Southern Copper terminated the $1.2bn Tia Maria project in Peru.

The $4.8bn Conga gold and copper project in the country, which is developed by a joint venture between US firm Newmont Mining and Peru’s Buenaventura, has remained in cold storage since 2011. Buenaventura holds a 43.7% interest in Conga.