The Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reported that the Antamina mine is producing record levels of zinc this year. Jorge Ghersi, vice president of operations at Antamina, estimated the operation will ship 365,000 metric tons (mt) of zinc in 2017, 73% more than in the previous year (210,000 mt). These expectations are in line with the mining plan.

“With the expansion of Antamina and the higher amount of zinc ore mined in the pit, we are shipping a larger volume of this metal compared to the beginning of the project,” Ghersi said.

A recent report by BHP Billiton (one of the four members of the Antamina joint venture) estimated that the zinc production of its mine will increase by 14% in 2018, reaching 416,000 mt. Antamina produces a little more than 400,000 mt/y of copper. BHP expects copper production to decline in 2018, while zinc production will increase as mining operations continue to focus on zinc-rich areas. Antamina will now become Peru’s top zinc producer. It exports metals through the Port of Punta Lobitos, loading 11,000 mt in eight to 12 ships per month.