Minera Antucoya S.A., Santiago, company comprised of Antofagasta Minerals S.A. (AMSA), Luksic Group, (70%) and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation (30%), awarded Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, Montreal, a contract for engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) of its Antucoya copper project.
The project is located at 1,700 m.a.s.l, in the town of Mejillones, 45 km from the coast and 125 km northeast of Antofagasta. Previously, the project engineering was developed by Fluor.
The construction of Antucoya demands a total investment of US$ 1.7 billion for the building of an open pit mine and an oxides pile leaching operation, plus a solvent and electro winning extraction plant, with capacity to produce 80,000 tpa of copper cathode, calculated over a 20-year useful life.
The Antucoya oxide deposit has proven and probable reserves of 642 MT of ore @ 0.35% Cu, and a cutoff grade of 0.21% Cu. Antucoya deposit grades are considered one of the lowest among the new mining projects to be executed in Chile.
Under terms of the EPCM contract, the Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin will be responsible for the integration and management of four engineering packages for processing. The company will also be responsible for the construction of roads, camps, facilities, electrical power grids and other critical infrastructure for the project.
SNC-Lavalin plans on starting engineering immediately, while early infrastructure works have already begun. The Canadian company has a deadline to complete the project’s mechanical tests by Q3 2014.