Canadian miner Teck Resources has secured regulatory clearance from Peru’s National Environmental Certification Service for Sustainable Investments (SENACE) for its Zafranal copper project in the country.
Teck CEO Jonathan Price said: “Regulatory approval of the Zafranal Project is an important step forward in our strategy to grow our copper business and unlock significant value for shareholders.
“Zafranal will be a low-cost, long-life operation, and is a key part of Teck’s industry-leading pipeline of high-quality, low-cost copper assets in well-established mining jurisdictions in the Americas.”
Located in Arequipa Region’s porphyry copper belt in southern Peru, the mid-sized Zafranal copper-gold development is owned by Compañía Minera Zafranal (CMZ).
Teck has an 80% stake in CMZ while the remaining 20% is held by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (MMC).
Zafranal has an expected mine life of 19 years and is claimed to produce copper-gold concentrates through an open-pit mining and conventional concentration process.
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The processing of the copper ore, including crushing, grinding, flotation, thickening and filtering, will take place at a concentrator plant with a processing capacity of up to 80,000 tonnes per day.
The mine and the concentrator plant are anticipated to produce an average of 133,000t of copper in concentrate during the first five years of production.
A feasibility study on the project was conducted in 2019. The report was later updated in 2020 to include value-added engineering updates.
In the coming months, the Zafranal team will update the project capital, operating cost estimates and detailed engineering plan along with minor permitting activities.
Teck expects the project to be positioned for a formal project sanction decision in the first half of next year.
Last month, the Canadian miner rejected an almost $23bn takeover bid from Glencore that involved a merger with the company and a subsequent demerger of their metals and coal operations.
Glencore is still circling Teck and has increased its bid by including an $8.2bn cash-for-coal component to its offer.
Meanwhile, Teck also withdrew its own plan to separate its coal and base metals businesses and now seeks a simpler restructure.