Sep. 3. 2015
Marubeni Corporation (“Marubeni”) and Antofagasta plc (“Antofagasta”) have agreed to jointly develop a new copper deposit located in the Centinela Mining District in Chile’s II Region. The property is currently held by CCM Encuentro (“Encuentro”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Antofagasta and will be contributed to Minera Centinela (Centinela*) through the merger of Encuentro into Centinela - an existing operation held 30% by Marubeni and 70% by Antofagasta.
The Encuentro mining properties are located 15 km south of Centinela and contain oxide ores above sulfide ores, within a single deposit. The oxide ores will be processed at Centinela’s existing solvent extraction electro-winning plant from the second half of 2016, contributing some 50,000 tonnes of copper cathode per year. The lower sulfide ores, which are currently at the pre-feasibility study stage of evaluation, are expected to be mined after 2020. The Centinela Mining District contains nearly 7 billion tonnes of mineral resources.
Marubeni continues to focus on copper mine investments as a strategic area. In addition to expanding our existing copper business with Antofagasta in Chile, we plan to target new copper resources in other regions as well to secure high quality copper resources and contribute to the secure supply of copper resources to Japan.
* Centinela was created in November 2014 through the merger of Minera Esperanza and Minera El Tesoro, both of which were 30% owned by Marubeni and 70% owned by Antofagasta. The annual copper production of Centinela is around 270,000 tonnes.