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Investment Projects: Southern Copper Corporation

Southern Copper Corporation has four ongoing investment projects in Mexico: Buenavista Zinc, Pilares, El Pilar and Lime Plant.

First, Buenavista Zinc is located within the Buenavista deposit, where the company has built a new concentrator.

This facility has a production capacity of 100,000 tons of zinc and 20,000 tons of copper per year.

When operational, the concentrator will double Southern Copper Corporation’s zinc production capacity and provide more than 2,000 jobs on the operating front.

The capital budget for the project amounts to US$416 million, most of which has already been invested.

Already 98% complete, the company has started vacuum testing at the plant and expects to start operations in August 2023.

Pilares is located six kilometers from La Caridad and consists of an open pit mining operation with an annual production capacity of 35,000 tons of copper in concentrate.

This project will significantly improve the overall ore grade (considering 0.78% expected from Pilares with 0.29% from La Caridad).

Project Update: The budget for Pilares is US$176 million, of which US$131 million has been invested. Pilares is currently operating and delivering copper ore to the La Caridad operation.

Investment Projects

El Pilar is a low capital intensity greenfield copper project and is strategically located in Sonora, Mexico, approximately 45 kilometers from its Buenavista mine.

Its copper oxide mineralization contains proven and proven and probable reserves of 317 million tons of ore at an average copper grade of 0.249%.

Southern Copper Corporation anticipates that El Pilar El Pilar will operate as a conventional open pit mine with an annual production capacity of 36,000 tons of copper cathodes.

This operation will use highly cost effective and environmentally friendly SX-EW technology. El Pilar’s budget is US$310 million and production is projected to begin in 2025, with an estimated mine life of 13 years.

Another investment project is the lime plant. As part of its cost improvement projects, the company is building a new lime plant with a production capacity of 600 metric tons per day, which will be the largest lime plant in Mexico.

This plant will enable the company to reduce the current cost of lime in its Mexican operations by approximately 50%.

The plant’s total budget is US$79.4 million, of which it has invested US$64.5 million as of June 30, 2023. The plant’s kiln started operations in the second quarter of 2022, meeting performance tests.


Redacción Opportimes

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