The Peruvian government has approved a $2 billion expansion at Antamina, the country’s largest copper-zinc mine, Kallanish learns from Compañía Minera Antamina.

The modification of the environmental impact study (MEIA) approval, which took nearly four years, will allow the mine’s operations to be extended from 2028 to 2036. The approval was initially expected in the second half of last year. 

Operated by Compañía Minera Antamina, the mine is jointly owned by Glencore (33.75%), BHP (33.75%), Teck Resources (22.5%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (10%).

With the environmental approval granted by the National Environmental Certification Service for Sustainable Investments (SENACE), the operating company can make changes within existing mining components. This includes the expansion of the open pit and the optimisation of the dumps and tailings dam. The company notes that the expansions have been designed under “strict engineering protocols,” enabling safe conditions for workers and adjacent communities.

“The MEIA is an important milestone for Antamina and the Peruvian mining industry, and reaffirms our commitment to the country and the Ancash region,” says Víctor Gobitz, president and ceo of Antamina. “This approval broadens our horizon and allows us to continue working hand in hand with the authorities and communities to deploy a mature public and private institutional framework, which seeks to transform economic resources from mining into sustainable development for all.”

The mine life extension cost was extended early last year from $1.6 billion to $2 billion, due to higher and additional costs. The expansion plan will reportedly see a 25% increase in the mine area and a deepening of the open pit by 150 metres, with the dam storage capacity being increased from 1,100 million tonnes to 1,572m t.

Located in the Ancash region in north-central Peru, the mine began commercial production in 2001. According to official data seen by Kallanish, the mine produced a total of 435,378 t of copper last year.