El Teniente eyeing up further expansion

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, May 15, 2003
The El Teniente division of Chile's state copper corporation Codelco could embark on a new expansion, once its current US$1bn one is complete, taking output to over 500,000t/y and requiring US$200mn-300mn, local newspapers quoted general manager Ruben Alvarado as saying. Under the present expansion, El Teniente, the world's largest underground copper mine, is expected to produce 480,000t/y of the metal by the end of next year. This year it is forecast to turn out around 410,000t of copper, including 25,000t from Andina, another Codelco mine. The mine, in central Chile's Region VI, expects to open new concentrator capacity in June, Alvarado was quoted as saying. Last year the mine produced 334,000t, and processed some concentrates from Andina at its Caletones smelter. The supplementary expansion would involve boosting throughput to 150,000t/d from 126,000t, the expected rate in 2005, Alvarado said, adding it could be completed in 2007 or 2008. Codelco is the world's largest copper producer.

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