Arizona-based mining company Southern Copper Corporation (SCC) operates mines and metallurgical facilities in Peru and Mexico, where it produces copper, molybdenum and zinc concentrates; blister copper; and refined copper, zinc, silver and gold. In addition, the company carries out exploration activities in Chile, Argentina and Ecuador. In Peru, the company owns a smelter and refinery in Ilo and two open-pit mines in Cuajone and Toquepala. Its Tía María project in Arequipa region involves mining and leaching copper oxide and sulfide ores, and is set to begin production in 2016 with an estimated mine life of 18 years and copper cathode output of 120,000t/y. In Mexico, SCC has the Buenavista and La Caridad open-pit mines, and the Charcas, San Martin, Santa Bárbara, Santa Eulalia, Taxco, and Nueva Rosita underground operations, as well as processing facilities in the states of Sonora and San Luis Potosí. The company's exploration assets include projects Los Chancas (Peru), Chalchihuites, Buenavista-Zinc, and Sierra de Lobos (Mexico), and prospects Catanave, El Salado, and Resguardo de la Costa (Chile), and the Ruta del Cobre property (Ecuador). In 2015, SCC announced the US$100mn acquisition of the El Pilar copper project in Mexico's Sonora state. The US$300mn project is expected to start up in 2018 and produce 35,000t/y of copper over a 13-year mine life. Southern Copper is 85%-owned by Grupo México throught its subsidiary Americas Mining Corp.