August 28, 2018 / 5:44 PM / a year ago

Canada's Teck to begin Quebrada Blanca mine upgrade in November

SANTIAGO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd will begin work in November on a $4.8 billion phase 2 project at its Quebrada Blanca copper mine in northern Chile, Chile’s mines minister said on Tuesday.

The company received environmental approval for the plan earlier this month, which aims to extend the life of the aging deposit by 25 years and boost production to 300,000 tonnes of copper annually.

It said in July it would be seeking a development partner to invest $2 billion for a 30 to 40 percent share in the project, and hoped to close a deal in the fourth quarter.

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

“Quebrada Blanca will start moving in November,” minister Baldo Prokurica told journalists at a meeting in Santiago.

Teck could not immediately be reached for comment.

Quebrada Blanca produced 23,400 tonnes of copper in 2017. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero; writing by Aislinn Laing, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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