Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) has secured approval from the regional environmental regulator to extend the operational life of its Radomiro Tomic mine until 2030.
The approval from the Antofagasta Region Environmental Assessment Commission allows the company to invest $882m in the expansion of the project.
The open pit mine in the Antofagasta region was initially planned to be closed in 2022. However, the company plans to incorporate new mining resources to extend the mine life for another seven years.
Codelco executive president Octavio Araneda said: “This is very good news for Codelco and for Chile. “The continuity of Radomiro Tomic’s operations and its sustainable extension in the coming years is part of our plan to continue providing resources to the State, and thus collaborate with the development and progress of our country and of those who need it most.”
Codelco said that the exploitation of the new mining resources at the mine involves the relocation of the existing primary crushing of oxides and sulphides.
The company said it plans to implement bioleaching technology at the mine for enabling the treatment of low-grade minerals in the future.
Codelco Radomiro Tomic division general manager Lindor Quiroga said that the Radomiro Tomic mine will face tough period on the next five years as the company’s mining variables are getting deteriorated.
Codelco is undertaking a ten-year initiative, which will see an investment of $40bn to upgrade its mines in the country, reported Reuters.