Cía. Minera Antamina has announced plans to invest $1.3 billion to increase mining and processing capacity by 38% to 130,000 mt/d at its operations in the Andes mountains of north-central Peru, 270 km north of Lima. The expansion is based on a 77% increase in reserves to 1.1 billion mt announced in 2008 and a subsequent feasibility study completed in 2009. The Antamina mine produces copper and zinc concentrates, as well as lesser quantities of molybdenum and lead-bismuth concentrates. A 302-km pipeline transports the copper and zinc concentrates to the port of Huarmey.

Key aspects of the Antamina expansion will include acquisition of new mining equipment, expansion of the truck workshop and concentrator, construction of a new 55-km electric power transmission line, and enhancement of current water management and tailings storage systems. Construction is due to start during the first quarter of 2010, with first output slated for late 2011.

The expansion project will extend Antamina mine life by six years to 2029 and represents the largest single private investment project planned for implementation in Peru in 2010. Antamina is owned by Xstrata (33.75%), BHP Billiton (33.75%), Teck Resources (22.5%), and Mitsubishi Corporation (10%).

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