China-based mining firm MMG is planning to invest between $2.7bn and $3.2bn in completing the construction of its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru.
The mine, which MMG acquired in August from Glencore for $7bn, was expected to start production in 2015.
However, higher costs, changes in the design of tailings dams, availability of skilled labour and other factors forced the company to delay the start of operations, reported Reuters.
MMG said in a statement: “We have now completed our own review and as a result, MMG expects first production of concentrate in the first quarter of 2016.
“Las Bambas is a world-class project and our initial focus has been to address some of the high priority areas ensuring we have the right structures and controls in place to address risks and ultimately deliver the project on schedule and within budget.”
During the third quarter of this year, the company has focused on the construction of the processing plant, primary crusher, overland conveyor and key surface infrastructure including tailings facilities, power lines, mine access and mine maintenance facilities.
MMG CEO Andrew Michelmore said: “We are pleased to have been on the ground at Las Bambas for the past few months reviewing the initial plans, making refinements and looking for opportunities to add value to the development.
“This is a world-class asset that will become one of the top three copper mines in the world. Our focus is on successful completion of construction and bringing the asset into production.”
The company has also initiated drilling at Las Bambas, following which detailed mine planning will be carried out over the period of 2015.
Las Bambas is expected to add 6.9 million tonnes of copper ore reserves and 10.5 million tonnes of copper mineral resources to MMG’s portfolio.