Antapaccay looks to expand its copper mine (above) in Peru, including adding a new mining area and reactivating pits in the northern zone of Tintaya. (Photo: Glencore)

The Antapaccay Mining Co., a subsidiary of the Swiss miner Glencore, has been given the green light for the modification of a detailed environmental impact study (MEIA) regarding the development of the Coroccohuayco project in Espinar, Peru, as a new exploitation area, as well as the revival of some components in the Tintaya area, and modifications to the Antapaccay mining unit and the Tintaya expansion (Cusco), as reported by the Peruvian news agency Gestión.

The MEIA (Antapaccay Expansión Tintaya project-Coroccohuayco integration) includes changes in the components in Antapaccay, such as the modification of the mining plan of the northern and southern pits and dumping area expansions. The plan includes a 15.5-year mine life. Also, the plan proposed the reactivation of the pits located in the northern zone of Tintaya, where copper oxides and copper sulphides minerals will be extracted through conventional open pits.

The request for the approval of the MEIA was submitted in April 2018. According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the investment for Coroccohuayco integration is planned at US$590 million. The integrated project contemplates a life cycle of approximately 34 years. It is divided into three stages: the construction of Coroccohuayco and the Antapaccay-Tintaya operation (14 months); a subsequent operation in both areas (22 years); a closing stage (five years); and a conceptual post-closing stage (five years).

During the construction phase of Coroccohuayco, 12 kilometers southeast of the Tintaya profit zone, the company plans to start operations and reactivation of the Tintaya pit-north zone. For Coroccohuayco, the company plans to mine the copper deposit through an open-pit system and underground work.

The report estimated that the operation stage of the integrated project (Coroccohuayco and Antapaccay-Tintaya) will be the processing of copper sulphides at the Antapaccay and Tintaya concentrating plants, and the disposal of tailings located in Tintaya. The copper concentrates obtained in the process will be transported by land to the port of Matarani (Arequipa).

The approved portions of the environmental impact study (MEIA) will be included in the next update of the Coroccohuayco project closure plan.

Minera Antapaccay’s activities cover two areas, the Antapaccay (development area) and Tintaya (enrichment zone, including tailings disposal), which are called Antapaccay-Expansion Tintaya.