Chinalco expects to start Peru copper mine expansion no later than end-June

Toromocho copper mine. Image from Chinalco.

The Peruvian unit of Chinese firm Chinalco should start construction on its delayed $1.3 billion expansion project at the Toromocho copper mine in southern Peru by the end of June, the division’s executive said on Tuesday.

The president of Chinalco Peru, Xudong Zhang, said that he expects the Peruvian government to approve the necessary paperwork in the next 30 days for the project in the Andean region of Junin, which began operations a decade ago.

“We hope to get the permit and start building the project before the end of June by the latest,” the executive told reporters after a conference by the Peruvian-Chinese chamber of commerce CAPECHI.

The Toromocho expansion project was announced in 2018, but delays in official permits and the coronavirus pandemic put the brakes on its development.

Toromocho, among the five largest producers of the red metal in the country, produced some 244,712 tons of copper in 2022. Peru is the second largest copper producer in the world.

Zhang said the Toromocho expansion would allow Aluminum Corp’s Chinalco to increase current production by 20%. “Translated into fine copper, it would be 40,000 tons of copper contained in concentrates per year, in addition to current capacity,” he said.

The executive also said that Chinalco is working on various exploration projects near Toromocho and also on concessions around Peru’s so-called southern mining corridor.

(By Marco Aquino; Editing by Alistair Bell)


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