Canadian copper producer Ero Copper has completed 70% work at its Tucumã project in the Brazilian state of Pará.

The company has invested nearly $305m on the project, where the work began last year.

All the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) activities at the project are progressing to begin copper production in the second half of next year, the company said.

Activities such as mine pre-stripping are in advanced stages. All the earthworks such as the water storage reservoir, site drainage and run-of-mine stockpiles have also been completed.

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By GlobalData

Approximately 65% of concrete work, which includes all major foundations, at the project had been completed at the project.

Important pieces of processing equipment such as primary crusher, ball mill, secondary and tertiary crushers, vibrating screen decks and flotation cells have arrived on site.

The company stated that their installation is either ongoing or has been completed.

Power equipment, including a main substation and primary e-room, have been installed at the site. Approximately 16km of power line construction is now taking place. It is expected to be connected to the national grid in the last quarter of this year.

Other works such as platework, piping and electrical cabling have all started ahead of schedule.

All these works are being handled by 1,750 third-party contractors and employees.

Ero Copper CEO David Strang said: “First and foremost, I would like to congratulate each and every one of the approximately 1,750 people on site on the remarkable progress to date, and most importantly, for their dedication in achieving nearly two million hours of work without a lost time injury.

“With over 70% of the physical work completed, critical pieces of infrastructure in place or nearing completion, and main equipment installations progressing according to plan, we are confident that a major inflection point for the project has been reached.

“As we continue to meet our construction milestones, we are turning our attention on-site to piping, electrical and instrumentation installation – an exciting time for any project. We are focused on executing the first phase of the commissioning schedule prior to year-end to ensure a successful ramp-up and achievement of commercial production in the second half of 2024.”

Tucumã is a copper project located within the Carajás mineral province about 40km from the town of Tucumã.

Ero Copper released an optimized feasibility study related to the project in 2021. The project is expected to produce around 326,000t of recovered copper during an initial mine life of 12 years.

During the period, the project could produce an average of around 27,000tpa at around $1.36/lb.