Anglo American Platinum, a global mining giant with operations in Zimbabwe through Unki Mine has announced its first copper production from its Quellaveco project in Peru, as the project nears completion ahead of receiving final regulatory clearance for operations to begin.

Quellaveco is an open-pit copper mine located in the Moquegua region in the South of Peru whose construction started in 2018, with an estimated total Capex of $5.5 billion, which includes the $0.6 billion additional cost of managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020.

The Quellaveco project is expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of copper equivalent per year on average over the first 10 years of operation, at a highly competitive C1 unit cost of c. 95c/lb over the first five years once the operation reaches total production capacity.

Commenting on the developments, Tom McCulley, who has led Anglo American’s development of Quellaveco, said, “First copper production at Quellaveco is a key milestone in our delivery of this world-class asset, on time and on budget. The fact that we are today producing copper less than four years after project approval, including through two years of considerable pandemic-related disruption, is a testament to the strength of our commitment to our workforce, local communities, and the Moquegua region and government stakeholders in Peru.”

McCulley added, “This first production of copper concentrate marks the beginning of the normal period of testing the processing plant with ore and the ramping up mining activities to demonstrate readiness for operations.”

Anglo-American Chief Executive Officer in Peru, Adolfo Heeren said, “Quellaveco is a project for all of Peru, especially for the Moquegua region. Once in full operation, Quellaveco alone will increase Peru’s copper production by around 10%, and deliver sustainable benefits for decades to come, including 2,500 direct jobs, the incorporation of local suppliers into our supply chain, the increase of water sources for human consumption and irrigation, digital connectivity, the expansion of agricultural areas and tax revenues.”

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