Peru-based Buenaventura has approved full funding for the development of the Conga gold and copper project in Peru.

The Conga project has a mine life of about 19 years, with an estimated capital cost of $4-4.8bn.

Buenaventura expects to produce 580,000-680,000oz of gold and 155-235Mlb of copper from the project for the first five years.

The project’s initial production is expected to commence in late 2014 and continue until early 2015.

The estimated average cost applicable to sales for the first five years of the project is $400-$450/oz of gold, and $1.250$1.75/lb of copper.

Buenaventura’s chairman and CEO Roque Benavides said that the Conga project will create an opportunity for technological advancement in Peru’s mining sector.