Southern Copper's $1.2bn Toquepala mine expansion OK’d

Southern Copper's $1.2bn Toquepala mine expansion OK’d


Toquepala is the world’s fifth biggest copper mine. (Image courtesy of Southern Copper)

Peru has approved Southern Copper's (NYSE:SCCO) $1.2 billion expansion of its Toquepala open-pit mine in southern Tacna, which would allow the miner double the operation's concentrating capacity, El Economista (in Spanish) reports.

The Grupo Mexico-controlled company said the expansion will boost the capacity of the mine's copper concentrator to 120,000 tonnes per day from 60,000.

Toquepala is the world’s fifth biggest copper mine. It also produces molybdenum, silver gold and zinc.

Peru is the world's second biggest producer of copper and silver and a major producer of gold, zinc, lead and other minerals. The country’s extractive sector, which accounts for some 60% of the economy, is expected to bring $50 billion to the local economy in future investment over the next decade. However, it has been beset by widespread protests against mining projects for years.