Antamina to spend $390m on mine reno

Antamina operation in Ánchash, Peru. Photo by Antamina

Peru’s Compañía Minera Antamina is planning to invest $390 million in a series of upgrades to its copper and zinc operation near the north-central Áncash region.

Recently, the miner submitted a technical report to the National Service of Environmental Certification for Sustainable Investments or Senace, where it explains that the plan is to upgrade the mine’s entrance and implement a transportation system that allows for easy unloading, modify some piping platforms, and reconfigure the crusher.

The changes to the entrance seek to optimize the removal of waste from the Antamina pit to the East Botadero zone, which will reduce trucks’ travel time

The upgraded crusher is going to be semi-mobile and should be able to process 13,200 tonnes of ore per hour. Overall, the company expects to be able to process 85 million tonnes of mineral per year.

Antamina is also planning to optimize the site’s wastewater treatment system and the recycled water system.

The proposal is currently under evaluation at the Senace, whose officials are assessing whether the project’s environmental permit is still valid, and whether the changes are within the mine’s approved area and don’t affect freshwater bodies, glaciers, snowed peaks, farmlands or nearby communities not considered in its existing environmental permit.

Antamina’s mine is located 4,300 metres above sea level in the San Marcos district of the Huari province. It is considered one of the world’s top 10 copper producers by volume and it is responsible for 18% of Peru’s copper output.

Besides copper, it also produces a large amount of zinc, lead, and silver and it is comprised of various stakeholders. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Glencore (LON:GLEN) each have 33.75% stakes in Antamina. Teck Resources (NYSE:TCK) holds a 22.5% stake in the mine and Mitsubishi Corporation has 10%.