Compañía Minera Quechua, subsidiary of Japanese Pan Pacific Copper (Tokyo) in Peru, will complete 58,707 meters of infill drilling in 2011 as part of its feasibility study that will be completed in the first quarter of 2012, reported Erick Torres, the company’s geologist during his presentation in ProEXPLO 2011. Compañía Minera Quechua operates the Quechua copper-molybdenum project. Quechua is located in the Cusco region, just 10 km from the Tintaya mine, in the copper belt that comprises the Antapaccay and Coroccohuayco copper projects of Xstrata Copper, Brisbane.
The mining project is being profiled as the biggest investment of Japanese capital in Peru’s mining sector. The construction of an open pit mine and a flotation plant with 50,000 tpd capacity is estimated at US$970 million. Production could start in 2014.
Quechua would produce an average of 76,000 FMT of copper in concentrates over a useful life of 17 years, according to the parameters considered in the prefeasibility study completed in 2009. The project houses resources of 680Mt @ 0.38% Cu, at cutoff grade of 0.25% Cu.
The ongoing exploration is focused on extending the mineralization towards the west of the deposit, and likewise includes 2,619 meters of metallurgical drill holes. Presently, Pan Pacific is completing the flotation tests in the laboratory and the pilot plant. Among other things, the tests are evaluating the possibility of recovering molybdenum.
Erick Torres also informed that the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be concluded and submitted to the Ministry of Energy and Mines next March.
Pan Pacific Copper is a JV between JX Nippon Mining (66%) and Mitsui Mining & Smelting (34%), and is the biggest individual purchaser of copper concentrates in the world. It acquires copper from the Chilean Los Pelambres, Collahuasi, Caserones and Escondida mines, and sends them to the refineries of Nippon Mining and Mitsui in Japan.
Since its discovery in 1969 by a joint team from the Metal Mining Agency of Japan and Mitsui MIning & Smelting, Tokyo, a total of 150,000 meters have been drilled in the project.