Anglo American’s Quellaveco produces the first copper
First ore from the Quellaveco mine, located in the Moquegua region of Peru, was mined in October 2021 and Anglo American expects the asset to generate 300,000 tonnes of copper per year for the first 10 years at full capacity. production.
The project is delivering on time and on budget despite a two-year pandemic-triggered hiatus, project manager Tom McCulley said.
“This first production of copper concentrate marks the start of the processing plant’s normal testing period with ore and the ramp-up of mining activities to demonstrate operational readiness,” McCulley said. in the statement.
This is a major milestone as Quellaveco draws to a close before receiving final regulatory clearance to begin commercial operations, Anglo American said.
Mitsubishi Corp., which owns 40% of Quellaveco, said the mine increase the company’s annual copper production by approximately 50%reaching between 320,000 and 370,000 tons per year, against 200,000 tons currently.
Once at full capacity, the operation will increase Peru’s copper production by approximately 10% and create 2,500 direct jobs as well as other economic benefits related to the supply and increased water for consumption. human,” said Adolfo Heeren, CEO of Anglo American in Peru.
Quellaveco is one of the very few major projects to come online in the past three years, including First Quatum’s Cobre Panama (TSX: FM) in 2019 and Ivanhoe Mines’ Kamoa-Kalula (TSX: IVN ) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). ) Last year.
The copper industry needs to spend more than $100 billion to fill what could be an annual supply shortfall of 4.7 million metric tons by 2030, according to estimates from CRU Group. The potential shortfall could reach 10 million tonnes if no mines are built, commodities trader Trafigura said.
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As the world needs more metal, used in electric vehicles, solar panels and other products seen as key to the energy transition, producers fear repeating the oversupply mistakes of past cycles in speeding up plans at a time when mines are getting a lot more complicated and more expensive to build.
The first production at Quellaveco comes at a time when copper prices are low. The metal hit a 20-month low on Monday as lingering fears that a recession will dampen demand for the metals hit a market with low summer volumes.