Grupo Mexico-controlled Southern Copper has secured approval from the Government of Peru for its $1.2bn expansion plan of Toquepala mine.
Approval for the site in southern Peru will allow the company to double the mine’s concentrator capacity.
According to Southern Copper, the Toquepala mine expansion would increase the capacity of its concentrator to 120,000t a day, Reuters reported.
The open pit mine producing copper, molybdenum, rhenium and silver with minor gold and zinc was opened in 1960 by the company, which was then a subsidiary of ASARCO.
The mine produced 127,000t of copper in sulphide concentrates in 2009, all smelted at Ilo, with a recovery rate of 97.4%.
It is also said to have produced 38,000t of copper cathodes from the SX/EW plant.
As of the end of 2009, the mine reported about 13 million tonnes of copper contained in proven and probable ore reserves.
Further, in a separate announcement, Southern Copper said it also expects the government to issue a construction permit for its $1.4bn Tia Maria project in the district of Cocachacra, province of Islay, in the Arequipa region.
In March, Southern Peru Copper executive president Oscar Gonzalez Rocha said that Tia Maria is an important and beneficial project for the company.
Further, Rocha added that completion of such a project would regain the trust of the mining investor community.
Image: View of Toquepala mine from the International Space Station on 22 September 2003. Photo: courtesy of NASA.