By the time Anglo American produces its first copper from the Quellaveco mine in Peru, the company will have owned the orebody for nearly 30 years, spent more than 15 years laying the groundwork, invested millions of dollars, and made thousands of decisions necessary to get the mine up and running. Company leaders believe that this attention to detail and commitment to preparation will allow the mine not only to succeed but to exceed expectations. In fact, before the first copper ore is extracted from the mine, the company is already thinking ahead.
“We see significant potential to expand Quellaveco beyond its current 30-year reserve life as well as to increase throughput above the initial capacity of 127,500 t per day,” says Anglo American Chief Executive Mark Cutifani. First production of copper is expected in 2022, ramping up to full production in 2023. During the first 10 years of full production Quellaveco is expected to produce approximately 300,000 t per year.
“While Peru will be a new operating geography for us, we’ve been preparing the ground for many years — both literally and figuratively — developing strong relationships with local communities, government authorities and regulators along the way,” the company says on its website. Anglo American board members approved development of the project in July 2018. That same month, partner Mitsubishi Corporation increased its interest in the project to 40%. The company has secured the licenses and permits to move forward with Quellaveco and development has commenced. “After several years of extensive preparatory work, we are very pleased to develop the project together with our partner Mitsubishi,” said Cutifani.