ARGENTINA - The Alumbrera copper-gold mine in the Catamarca Desert is expanding its concentrator capacity to 40 million tonnes/year. The US$15-million project should be commissioned in December 2006. The mine is owned by GOLDCORP (37.5%) and NORTHERN ORION RESOURCES (12.5%) of Canada and Switzerland's XSTRATA (50%).
An additional 40 million tonnes of mineral reserves have been confirmed at Alumbrera from the ongoing ore delineation drilling program, undertaken both within the existing ore envelope and from extensions at depth, plus improvements in the ultimate pit slopes design. This equates to an additional 375 million lb of contained copper and 500,000 oz of gold over the life of the mine. The reserve figure is a further increase to the 80 million tonnes of mineral reserves Alumbrera announced in June 2004. The mine plan has been re-optimized based on a new geological model with this additional mineralization. In-pit resource definition will continue in the second half of 2005 in hopes of adding further reserves.
Total proven and probable reserves now stand at 390 million tonnes grading 0.47% Cu and 0.51 g/t Au. Measured and indicated resources total 420 million tonnes of similar-grade material.
More information about the concentrator expansion is available at www.Alumbrera.com in Spanish, or in English at www.Xstrata.com/prod_copper.php.