Construction and commissioning of the remaining facilities of the Chilean copper project are planned to be completed going forward to achieve full production through 2023
Teck Resources, Sumitomo Metal Mining, and Sumitomo have started production of the first bulk copper concentrate at their Quebrada Blanca phase 2 copper project (QB2 project) in Chile.
According to Sumitomo, the construction and commissioning of the remaining facilities of the Chilean copper project are planned to be completed going forward. These include shipping facilities in the port area and ramping up of the facilities to achieve full production through 2023.
Teck Resources holds a stake of 60% in Compañía Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca, the owner of the QB2 project.
Together, Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo own an indirect interest of 30% in the project while the remaining 10% non-funding interest is held by ENAMI, a Chilean state agency.
Located in the Tarapacá region of northern Chile, the QB2 copper project is anticipated to generate product-standard copper concentrates.
The copper concentrates are expected to have enhanced copper purity through the separation of by-products.
Teck Resources CEO Jonathan Price said: “First copper concentrate production at QB2 is an important milestone as we advance our commissioning and ramp up plan towards full production this year.
“This achievement is made possible by the dedicated and skilled teams who have worked diligently to progress this transformative operation, which is the cornerstone of our copper growth strategy.”
According to Sumitomo, the QB2 project will continue to have a long-term, stable production for over 20 years. The project has an initial mine life of 27 years.
The open pit mine is targeted to produce 285,000-315,000 tonnes of copper annually in the period from 2024 to 2026.
The increase was about 60% higher than the initially approved $4.7bn, which was primarily due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.