A Newmont Mining executive said the company expects to start production at its Conga gold mine in Peru in late 2014 or late 2015.

Newmont Mining executive vice-president Guy Lansdown said Newmont and its partner Buenaventura is still waiting, however, on $2.5bn-$3.5bn in investment to bring the project into production.

The low-cost Conga mine has reserves of about 12 million ounces of gold and some three billion pounds of copper.

In the first five years of operation, the company expects to produce between 650,000oz and 750,000oz of gold, and between 160 million and 210 million pounds of copper a year.

Lansdown told Reuters the companies are exploring for gold around the Conga project, where they have hit upon several prospective targets.

Newmont and Buenaventura also operate the Yanacocha mine in southern Peru, one of Latin America’s largest gold mines.