Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco) has reportedly commenced works on a $1.3bn Toromocho copper mine expansion in central Peru in a bid to increase production.
Chinalco chairman Ge Honglin has noted that the investment will allow the company to scale up the mine’s copper production by 45% by 2020, Reuters reported.
The value of production is expected to be more than $2bn per annum.
According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, Chinalco is planning to increase Toromocho’s copper concentrate processing capacity to 157,000t per day and annual refined copper output to 300,000t through the expansion.
China is the world’s biggest copper consumer, while Peru is a major producer of the metal.
The company acquired Toromocho in 2007 and started production at the mine in 2013. Chinalco also owns copper assets in China’s southwestern Yunnan province.
In November 2016, the company reached a preliminary agreement to undertake the expansion of the project.
Located in the District of Morococha, Yauli Province, in the Junin region, the project is operated by the company’s subsidiary MineraChinalco Peru and is mined for silver, molybdenum and copper.
Toromocho contains 1.526 billion tonnes of ore, with average copper content of 0.48%, an average grade of molybdenum of 0.019% and an average grade of silver of 6.88 grams per tonne.
It was originally expected to produce 10,000 tonnes of molybdenum, one million tonnes of copper concentrate and four million ounces of silver oxide per year.