Peru's Minsur approves B2 financing, Mina Justa contract

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Peruvian tin miner Minsur, whose output has dwindled steadily since a peak in 2005, said financing was approved for its B2 tin tailings project.

Minsur's board of directors voted to allocate US$195mn to the 5,000t/y project at the San Rafael mine in Puno region, the Lima-based company said in a corporate filing to securities regulator SMV.

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Construction is scheduled to start at B2 by mid-2018, the company said in August. The project, which will tap 7.6Mt of 1.05% tin ore, is designed to help extend the life of the San Rafael operation, where ore grades have dwindled in recent years. Exploration work in 2017 identified 705,300t of tin resources containing 13,100t fine content, according to the company.

MARCOBRE

Minsur added it will financially guarantee its Marcobre unit, and will sign an engineering and procurement contract for the US$1.2-1.5bn Mina Justa copper project "shortly" with Australian engineering firm Ausenco. CEO Juan Luis Kruger said on an August conference call that the company will start construction on the 90,000t/y project in Ica region in Q4 2018 once a feasibility study has been approved.

OPERATIONS AND PROFITS

The tin miner, which completed an ore sorting plant at San Rafael in June 2016, has been seeking to diversify into another metal for several years to reduce exposure to volatile metals prices. Minsur's consolidated second-quarter profit halved to US$9.8mn, while sales rose 10% to US$171mn.

Tin output from its mines in Peru and Brazil slid 1% to 25,445t in 2016, according to the company. Production rose to a record 42,145t in 2005. Gold output at the Pucamarca mine in Peru also fell 13% to 105,659oz, while niobium-tantalum output at the Brazilian Pitinga operation dropped 15% to 1,840t.