- Listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1888
- Constituent of the FTSE 100
- 65% of ordinary share capital controlled by Luksic family of Chile with 35% free float
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Investment case – steady, stable and secure
Mining is the Group’s core business, representing over 90% of Group revenue and EBITDA. The Group operates four copper mines located in Chile, two of which also produce significant by-products. The Group has a significant portfolio of growth opportunities located predominantly in Chile and in the United States.
The Group’s flagship mine is in central Chile, generating over 51% of overall production and approximately 57% of EBITDA. It produces copper concentrates containing gold and silver and a separate molybdenum concentrate.
The Group’s second largest operation is located in a world-class mining district. Centinela produces copper concentrates containing gold and silver, and copper cathodes.
The Group’s newest mine, which achieved first production in September 2015. Antucoya is expected to produce 80-85,000 tonnes per annum of copper cathode.
The Group acquired a 50% interest and assumed operatorship of Zaldívar in December 2015. Zaldívar is an operating mine in northern Chile producing copper cathodes.
More on Zaldívar
The division, known as Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia (FCAB), provides rail and truck services to the mining industry in the Antofagasta Region. The transport division operates its own railway network, with access to Bolivia and the two largest ports in the region at Mejillones and the city of Antofagasta. The port at Antofagasta is managed by Antofagasta Terminal Internacional (ATI), which is minority owned by the Group.
During 2016, work continued on optimising Centinela’s concentrator plant in order to bring the level of throughput to 105,000 tonnes per day.
The Encuentro Oxides deposit is within the Centinela Mining District. It is expected to produce an average of approximately 43,000 tonnes of copper cathode per year over an eight-year period, utilising the existing capacity at Centinela’s SX-EW plant. Once the project is completed, it will enable the plant to produce at full capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum for a number of years, helping to offset a natural decline in production due to falling mined grades at Centinela’s existing oxide pits.
This project will allow Centinela to produce an average of 2,400 tonnes of molybdenum per year. Completion is expected in 2017, and the addition of another by-product credit will lower Centinela’s unit net cash costs.
The pre-feasibility study for this $2.7 billion project was completed at the end of 2015 and the preparation of the feasibility study is now underway. The EIA was submitted in 2015, with the outcome expected during 2016. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by the middle of 2017 and will include pilot testing of a hydraulic roll crushing system which is being considered in preference to conventional SAG and ball mills.
A decision to proceed with the project will only be made if it is supported by the market outlook at the time. If approval is granted in 2017, production would be expected to begin in 2020.
During the year, the Group revised the approach to the incremental expansion of Los Pelambres and decided to split the project into two phases to ease the development of the project and conserve development capital in light of lower commodity prices. This two-phase strategy was approved by the Board during the year and the feasibility study is now underway.
Given the size of the resource, which at 6.1 billion tonnes is more than three times the quantity of processed ore expected under the existing mine plan, there is significant scope to increase the plant capacity beyond the 205,000 tonnes per day planned for Phase 2 of the incremental expansion project. Such an expansion will require extensive engineering works and permitting as well as the support of local communities and currently no significant evaluation work is planned.
Growth beyond the core business
Twin Metals Minnesota LLC (Twin Metals) is a wholly-owned copper, nickel and platinum group metals (PGM) underground mining project holding the Maturi, Maturi Southwest, Birch Lake and Spruce Road copper-nickel-PGM deposits located in north-eastern Minnesota, US.
The Group has an active early-stage exploration programme beyond the existing core locations of the Centinela and Los Pelambres mining districts. This is conducted through its in-house exploration team and through partnerships with third parties to build a portfolio of longer-term opportunities across Chile and the rest of the world.