Xstrata has approved a $1.47bn investment to develop the Antapaccay copper project in Peru by expanding its Tintaya copper mine to increase its output by 60%.

The mine, located 10km away from the existing operation, will produce an average of 160,000t for the first six years and will have life of about 20 years.

Xstrata said construction will commence in the third quarter of 2010 and operations are expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2012.

Xstrata Copper chief executive Charlie Sartain said the Antapaccay expansion, along with other projects, will increase the company’s total annual copper production by 50% to almost 1.5 million tons a year by the end of 2014.