August 9, 2018 / 2:06 AM / 2 months ago

Canada's Teck gets approval to expand Quebrada Blanca mine in Chile

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Teck Resources Ltd said on Wednesday it had received regulatory approval for its $4.8 billion Phase 2 project at its Quebrada Blanca copper mine in northern Chile, a sprawling expansion that will boost production from the deposit to 300,000 tonnes of copper annually.

FILE PHOTO: Teck Resources sign is on display during the company's annual general meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 22, 2010. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford/File Photo

The environmental approvals will allow the Canadian miner to extend the life of the aging deposit by 25 years, the company said in a statement, using only a quarter of its existing reserves and resources.

The mine includes the first large-scale use of desalinated seawater for mining in Chile’s arid Tarapaca region, Teck said, as well as a 140,000-tonne per day concentrator.

Chile is the world’s top copper producer.

Teck said in July that it would launch a formal process seeking a development partner in the project, which could contribute some $2 billion for a 30 percent to 40 percent stake.

The company said it expected to close a deal with a partner in the fourth quarter.

Quebrada Blanca produced 23,400 tonnes of copper in 2017.

Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Toni Reinhold

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