Peru’s Minsur approves $1.6-billion Mina Justa copper mine

Copper Investing News reports that top tin-producing company, Minsur, is aiming to start copper production in 2020/2021, with annual output set to reach 102,000 t of copper and 58,000 t of copper cathode.

The $1.6-billion Mina Justa copper project, is the second major mining investment in the country. Peruvian president Martin Vizcarra announced the project at a palace ceremony on September 10. “It is gratifying to start the week with this news, which will improve and reactivate our economy,” he said.

Production cost at the mine, which is located near major highway and ports in the southern coast region of Ica, is estimated at $1.40/lb.

In May, Chilean industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec bought a 40% stake in Cumbres Andinas, the holding company that owns Mina Justa, for $168.5 million. Minsur holds the remaining 60% ownership.

Last month, the company secured $900 million in financing for the project from a group of banks, which put the miner on track to start construction.

Peru is the world’s second-largest copper producer after Chile, with output increasing from 2.34 Mt in 2016 to 2.39 Mt in 2017. Peruvian mining attracted investments of $2.36 billion during the first eight months of the year, according to the country’s minister of Energy and Mines. The country is expecting to receive $20.8 billion worth of mining investments between 2018 and 2022.

The launch of Mina Justa comes just two months after Anglo American announced plans to proceed with its Quellaveco mine, which will reportedly cost $5 billion over four years. The company de-risked the project by increasing Mitsubishi’s share from 18.1 to 40% in exchange for $833 million.

First production from Quellaveco is expected in 2022, ramping up to full production in 2023. During the first ten years of full production Quellaveco is expected to produce approximately 300,000 t/y at a cash cost of $1.05/lb of copper.