Peru’s Minsur to invest at least $2 billion as it expands copper, tin operations

LIMA (Reuters) -Peruvian miner Minsur has announced an investment of at least $2 billion in five years as it expands its copper and tin operations, an executive told Reuters on Thursday.

Minsur is set to invest around $543 million in an underground project in Justa mine, which is owned by the firm and Chilean mining company Copec, Minsur corporate affairs executive Gonzalo Quijandria said in a phone interview with Reuters.

Another $381 million will be invested to expand the processing plant and to improve the Justa mine camp, which began operations in 2021, Quijandria said.

The mine produced 126,036 fine metric tons of copper last year and was the world’s seventh most productive copper mine, according to official data.

Peru is the world’s No. 2 copper producer.

Minsur also operates the only mine in Peru for tin, a relatively rare element, and produces about 9% of this metal globally, according to the company.

Regarding such a production, Quijandria said Minsur plans to invest $462 million in its tin production line and another $100 million in tin exploration projects in the country.

“They are sustaining investments that include new tailings dams in the San Rafael mine and improvements in the Pisco smelter,” he said.

Minsur also plans to invest some $342 million in the modernization of its polymetallic producer Minera Raura.

Earlier on Thursday, Peru’s ministry provided a different breakdown of figures from the company, and Reuters did not receive an immediate response to a query about the discrepancy.

The announcement followed a meeting between Minsur CEO Juan Luis Kruger and Peru’s energy and mines minister, Oscar Vera.

The Mina Justa Subterranea project will be the second largest and most modern underground mine in Peru,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that Minsur expects to present the first permits for the project in the first months of next year, with production expected to start in 2027.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle, Paul Simao and Leslie Adler)

tagreuters.com2023binary_LYNXMPEJ7U0XE-VIEWIMAGE