Caserones (above) produced 69,704 mt of copper and 2,393 mt of molybdenum in the first half of 2023. (Photo: SCM Minera Lumina )

Lundin Mining purchased a 51% stake in SCM Minera Lumina Copper Chile, which owns the Caserones copper-molybdenum mine located in Chile, from JX Metals Corp. In addition, the company said it has obtained commitments for a three-year term loan for $800 million, with an additional $400 million accordion-based additional binding commitments, including the closing of up to an additional 19% interest in Lumina Copper.

“With the addition of Caserones, Lundin Mining adds another long-life copper mine of meaningful size with significant growth potential to our portfolio of high-quality assets,” said Lundin Mining CEO Peter Rockandel. “The Caserones team has achieved material operational improvements in recent years, and I am confident that we will unlock additional upside through our considerable knowledge, experience, and existing presence in the region. The Caserones acquisition further solidifies Lundin Mining as a significant contributor to Chile in the Atacama Region.” On a proforma basis including Caserones, Lundin Mining’s operations produced more than 191,000 metric tons (mt) of copper in the first half of this year.

The company paid an aggregate of approximately $800 million in cash consideration at closing. Remaining deferred cash consideration of $150 million will be payable in installments over the six-year period following the closing date. Lundin Mining also has the right to acquire up to an additional 19% interest in Lumina Copper for $350 million over a five-year period commencing on the first anniversary of the date of closing.

Lundin Mining believes that many opportunities exist to improve upon Caserones’ life-of-mine plan. Proximity to Lundin Mining’s Candelaria operation, approximately 160 km from Caserones, and Josemaria project, approximately 20 km from Caserones, introduce clear opportunities to realize additional savings and implement effective supply, logistical and management strategies not yet reflected in the life-of-mine plan. Further, Lundin Mining believes significant exploration potential exists within the over 58,500 hectares of the Caserones land package in the highly prospective Vicuña District.

Caserones produced 69,704 mt of copper and 2,393 mt of molybdenum in the first half of 2023. Copper production was comprised of 61,333 mt of copper in concentrate and 8,371 mt of copper cathodes.

Production guidance for the second half of 2023 is 60,000-65,000 mt of copper and 1,500-2,000 mt of molybdenum. Caserones 2023 copper and molybdenum production are expected to be weighted to the first half of the year primarily due to seasonal winter weather operating considerations typically experienced during the third quarter. 

Caserones’ capital expenditures for the second half of 2023 are forecast to total $110 million. Of this, capitalized waste stripping and mine development are forecast to be approximately $45 million, mine and mill capital expenditures are forecast to be $30 million, and $25 million is estimated for capitalized tailings storage facilities costs.