NuevaUnion gold and copper project to deliver EIA by end of 2018 -source

The NuevaUnion gold and copper project in northern Chile plans to deliver its environmental impact statement by the end of 2018 after completing feasibility studies earlier this year, a source at the mine said on Friday.

The project joins two mines – one belonging to Goldcorp and the other to Teck Resources – into one. The company said preliminary investment could reach $3.5 billion.

"The plan is to present the EIA … and that the project enters into operation by 2022-2023," said the source who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

NuevaUnion is expected to have a 36-year lifespan with an annual production of 224,000 tonnes of copper, 269,000 ounces of gold and 1,700 tonnes of molybdenum during its first 5 years of production.

Conservative President Sebastian Pinera, who took power in March, has promised to cut red tape and turbo-charge mining investments in the world's top copper producer.

Reporting by Antonio De la Jara; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Richard Chang.