Goldcorp and Teck Resources have agreed to form a joint venture (JV) and combine their respective El Morro and Relincho projects in Chile into a single project named Project Corridor.
The projects are located approximately 40km apart in the Huasco Province in the Atacama region.
The Canadian mining companies will equally own the JV.
Teck Resources president and CEO Don Lindsay said: "Combining these two neighbouring assets is a common sense approach that allows us to consolidate infrastructure to reduce costs, reduce the environmental footprint and provide greater returns over either standalone project.
"Through Project Corridor, we will work to establish meaningful relationships with the community, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders that will help guide the project’s development and create greater value for all parties."
The companies said that the co-development of their Chilean projects will include the construction of a conveyor to transport ore from the El Morro site to Relincho’s single line mill.
The combination is expected to result in reduced environmental footprint and cost, as well as improved capital efficiency.
An undeveloped copper-gold-molybdenum project, Project Corridor enables the optimisation of both resources and will result in a longer mine life of at least 32 years, while providing improved community benefits. The initial capital cost to bring the project into production is targeted to be $3.5bn.
The project’s construction phase is expected to create about 4,000 jobs and 1,400 jobs once it is operational.
Goldcorp president and CEO Chuck Jeannes said: "The combination of El Morro and Relincho is consistent with our focus on maximising value from our asset portfolio.
"We now have an improved development approach that we expect to significantly decrease initial capital requirements and increase financial returns, while ensuring the project is developed in partnership with our neighbours, creating lasting benefits for residents in the region and our shareholders."
In a separate announcement, Goldcorp has signed an agreement to acquire New Gold’s 30% interest in the El Morro project in a transaction valued at $90m.
Image: Project Corridor will result in a longer mine life of at least 32 years. Photo: courtesy of duron123 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.