The second phase at Quebrada Blanca may be given the green light soon. (Image: Teck Resources)
CHILE – Teck Resources of Vancouver has raised its interest in the Quebrada Blanca copper mine to 90%. Teck recently purchased Inversiones Mineras S.A., a private Chilean company, that held a 13.5% interest in the operating company, Compania Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca. The remaining 10% is held by ENAMI, a Chilean state agency.
The open pit Quebrada Blanca mine is located about 240 km southeast of the northern city of Iquique. In 2017 the project had an output of 23 million tonnes of copper cathodes. Cathode production will continue until the middle of 2019 but at a lesser rate until the deposit is exhausted.
Plans are already underway for the second phase of Quebrada Blanca (QB2) to extend the life of the project a further 25 years. The plans include building a new concentrator, tailings facility, and a pipeline to the coast. The pipeline will supply seawater to a desalination plant and then the mine, and it will transport copper concentrate to a port for trans-oceanic shipment.
By upping its Quebrada Blanca interest to 90%, Teck has simplified the ownership and capital structure for QB2 as well as giving itself additional financing flexibility, according to president and CEO Don Lindsay.
“QB2 is a high quality, long-life asset in a low risk jurisdiction that will operate through multiple price cycles at a low-cost, substantially increase Teck’s copper production, and generate significant value,” he added.
More information about Quebrada Blanca is posted at www.Teck.com.