If all goes according to plan in northern Chile, Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.A, TECK.B; NYSE: TECK) and its partners Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo will start commissioning and ramping up their Quebrada Blanca 2 (QB2) copper project in the fourth quarter of 2021, with full production to follow in the second half of 2022.
The QB2 project, one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper resources, will cost an estimated US$4.74 billion to build, and, once completed, will be a tier one asset in Teck’s portfolio, sporting an initial mine life of 28 years based on only a quarter of its reserves and resources.
The supergene orebody, or near surface deposit, was mined during the initial phase of the Quebrada Blanca mine, which produced 25,500 tonnes of copper cathode in 2018, and is expected to produce between 20,000 and 23,000 tonnes this year.
But QB2 will see the development of the deeper sulphide resource underlying the existing operation in an open pit with a maximum pit depth of 720 metres.
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