MinerAndina reports that Southern Copper Corp (SCC), a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico, and operator of Minera Mexico and Southern Peru Copper, has among its approved plans to start up the Tia Maria copper project in Peru (Arequipa) for the second quarter of 2020, at a production of 120,000 t/y and an investment of $1,480 million, according to Raul Jacobs, the company’s Financial Manager, during his presentation to the CRU’s 16th World Copper Conference.
The additional production from Tia Maria will allow Grupo Mexico to achieve its goal to reach a total copper production of 1.2 Mt for 2021, alongside the other projects such as the Toquepala expansion (100,000 t/y refined metal) in the south of Peru and El Pilar and Pilares projects (Mexico).
Other projects in portfolio are 1) Los Chancas (concentration and SX/EW in southern Peru) which will produce 134,000 t of copper and 7,600 t of molybdenum with a projected investment of $2,800 million; 2) Cuajone’s expansion (Peru) with an estimated investment of $500 million and 3) the expansion of Ilo Smelter and Refinery.
In 2016, the company had a copper production record of 900,000 t, a 21% increase. This was mainly due to the expansion of its Mexican mine Buenavista, which produced 447,000 t of copper, a 150% increase as compared to the 150,000 t produced in 2012.
Jacobs presented the achievements of SCC, the copper company with the largest reserves (71.4 Mt and 63 years of production) and lowest costs in the world copper industry ($0.95/lb, cash cost), which projects for 2017 to lower it to $0.85/lb.
“This year, with US$2.5/lb in copper price, we expect to produce 900,000 t; sales of around $6 billion and $2.5 billion of EBITDA equivalent of around 47% EBITDA / Sales. Last year, it was 42% and this will improve as the year goes on”, said adding that alongside Antofagasta Minerals and Rio Tinto.
Grupo Mexico has two open-pit mines in Mexico: Buenavista and La Caridad, which deliver their production to its Metallurgical Complex in La Caridad, where all ore is processed to produce refined copper, precious metals, sulfuric acid and rot, which are then sold in the industrial complexes in Mexico and the USA.
The company also has five zinc-silver mines in Mexico, with production processed in the zinc-silver metallurgical complex in San Luis Potosí, which production is around 100,000 t of refined zinc per year.
In Peru, SCC has two open-pit mines: Cuajone and Toquepala, which send 100% of their production to the Ilo Metallurgical Complex.