Codelco's underground projects to add 1Bt of reserves

- Friday, July 23, 2010

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Chilean state copper producer Codelco's underground mining projects will add 1Bt of copper to the company's reserves and extend operations 25-50 years, a company source told BNamericas.

The company has three projects in the pipeline that involve underground operations and developments: the US$2.01bn project to transform Chuquicamata into an underground mine; the US$1.72bn new mine level project at El Teniente - both at their basic engineering stages of development and set to start operating by the end of this decade; and an underground initiative at the Andina division's Sur Sur mine that is still at an evaluation stage.

Underground projects are part of the company's long-term growth strategy, as both El Teniente and Chuquicamata operations would have to be shut down by the end of this decade if they were not developed, seriously impacting copper output, the source said.

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