Lundin Mining has reported an updated mine plan and annual sustaining capital cost estimate for the Candelaria copper-gold mine complex in Atacama province Chile. The complex’s annual production of copper in concentrates from 2016 through 2019 is now expected to average 154,000 mt/y, up from an average of 122,000 mt/y in the previous mine plan. Production of gold and silver in concentrates is expected to average about 93,000 oz/y and 1.78 million oz/y, respectively, over the same period.

The Candelaria complex includes a large open-pit mine and nearby underground mines. Increased metal production from the complex will result from optimization of the phasing in the open pit and extended mine lives of all of the higher-grade underground mines, replacing lower-grade stockpile material in the plant feed. Weighted average annual cash costs for the 2016 to 2019 period, after incorporating a precious metals stream and capitalized waste stripping, are now expected to average $1.67/lb copper.

Lundin President and CEO Paul Conibear said, “We are very pleased with the results of the updated mine plan. These refinements have added significant value at Candelaria, and we remain very excited about the prospect of continuing to create additional value through our ongoing exploration program and further optimization efforts.”

Lundin expects to publish updated mineral resources and mineral reserves for Candelaria in support of the new mine plan as part of its annual mineral resource and reserve statement in September 2015.

Lundin holds an 80% interest in the Candelaria complex, with Sumitomo holding the remaining 20%. Lundin acquired its 80% interest from Freeport-McMoRan in November 2014 for $1.8 billion in cash.