Who will buy Michiquillay copper?

Peru’s ProInversión has issued the International Public Tender to promote private investment in the Copper Deposits of Michiquillay project. According to the rules of the tender, the approved schedule states that the presentation of the economic offer and the award would be on November 15 of this year.

Among the stipulated requirements, bidders must prove that they are currently in a mining operation; which, at least, must have an income from mining activities of $400 million and $600 million of net equity (both at the end of the previous year).

According to ProInversión, according to the studies carried out, it is estimated that the mining site has the resources to start a production of at least 80,000 t/d, which will mean an investment of around $2,000 million.

This project comprises of a porphyry copper deposit, containing copper, gold, silver and molybdenum. The mineral resources present are estimated at 1,159 Mt with an average grade of 0.629% Cu at a cutoff of 0.4% Cu.

Peruvian mining company Buenaventura, one of the largest producers of precious metals in the country is evaluating its participation in the process according to Chairman of the Board of the company, Roque Benavides.

Michiquillay, in the exploration stage, is located in the northern region of Cajamarca and was returned to the State in 2014 by Anglo American, which estimated a mine production of 200,000 t/y of copper.

“We have purchased the bases for informative purposes. We will assess the situation. It is a very large project, a big bite, we will evaluate it,” Benavides told. “We are not necessarily going to participate (in the process)”, he added.

Benavides said that Buenaventura is interested in the project because Michiquillay could share the infrastructure of other projects in Cajamarca. “There could be synergies between Michiquillay, Galeno and Conga. None of them could be developed separately”, stated Benavides.

Galeno -a copper, silver and gold project- belongs to the Chinese company Minmetals, while Conga is the property of Buenaventura and Newmont Mining.

Benavides said that there is a “relative stability” in the government of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former Wall Street banker, with respect to project development compared to the previous administration of former President and retired military member Ollanta Humala. “Trust and political and economic stability are vital,” he expressed.