Jan. 28. 2011
Minera Esperanza, which is 30% owned by Marubeni Corporation ("Marubeni") and 70% owned by Antofagasta plc (“Antofagasta”), has commenced its first loading of copper concentrates and the ship has departed from the port facility at Antofagasta city on January 27 2011. The initial shipment of approx. 5,000 tonnes is destined for Japan (Japanese smelters).
Minera Esperanza, which started construction in 2008, adopted advanced technology of flotation with sea water and thickened tailings for the first time in Chile as well as the one of the largest milling facility, expecting average annual production of 700,000 tonnes of concentrates containing 191,000 tonnes of payable copper and?230,000 ounces of payable gold over the first ten years.
Total payable copper from Marubeni’s interests is expected to be 125,000 tonnes per year after start up production of Minera Esperanza.
Marubeni has established an excellent and long-lasting relationship with Antofagasta.
Marubeni intends to continue developing copper operations and expanding mine projects in the Sierra Gorda district in Chile’s II Region and to enhance the relationship with Antofagasta as well as the country while maximizing profitability through investment in mine development.