Marubeni, in collaboration with Antofagasta, commits to a significant expansion project at the Centinela copper mine in Chile. This venture aims to double copper concentrate production, positioning Centinela among the world's top 15 copper mines. The expansion, addressing potential supply shortfalls, aligns with Marubeni's green strategy, emphasizing sustainable copper supply and responsible production practices.
Marubeni Corporation, in partnership with UK-based Antofagasta plc, has solidified its decision to invest in a substantial expansion project at the Centinela copper mine in the Republic of Chile. This strategic move comes as a response to the growing demand for copper, driven by factors such as urbanization, electrification, and the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles and renewable energy sources.
The expansion project entails the construction of a new concentrator plant, situated approximately 7km south of the existing plant, with the primary goal of doubling copper concentrate production capacities. The new plant will process ore from the Esperanza Sur and Encuentro deposits, complementing the existing processing of ore from the Esperanza deposit. The expected outcome is a significant increase in Centinela's annual copper production by around 140 thousand metric tons, elevating its global ranking.
In terms of ownership, Antofagasta holds a 70% stake, while Marubeni has a 30% interest in the Centinela copper mine. Following completion of the expansion, Marubeni's annual equity copper volume is projected to increase by approximately 40 thousand metric tons. Additionally, the mine's gold production, a by-product of copper mining, is poised to make Centinela one of the leading gold producers in Chile.
The expansion project, estimated at 4.4 billion US dollars, is vital for addressing potential future supply shortfalls in the copper market. The global significance of Centinela's copper concentrate, characterized by low impurity levels, reinforces its role as a critical raw material for smelters worldwide.
With a commitment to sustainable copper production, the Centinela copper mine emphasizes environmental stewardship. This includes utilizing seawater for operational needs, sourcing 100% renewable energy for electrical power, and implementing innovative technologies for safety and productivity enhancements. Notably, the mine was awarded the Copper Mark certification in 2021, recognizing its adherence to responsible production practices.
Marubeni's involvement in the Centinela copper mine dates back to 2008, showcasing a long-standing collaboration with Antofagasta. The expansion project aligns with Marubeni's green strategy, an integral component of its Mid-Term Management Strategy, GC2024. The company views its copper and related businesses as a Green Business, reflecting its commitment to a stable supply of sustainable copper.
Marubeni's investment in the Centinela copper mine expansion project is a significant stride toward meeting the growing demand for copper in a sustainable and responsible manner. This endeavor not only positions Centinela as a key player in the global copper market but also underscores Marubeni's dedication to environmentally conscious business practices.
Marubeni's decision to expand the Centinela copper mine in Chile is a crucial step in meeting the rising demand for copper sustainably. The project, doubling copper production, highlights Marubeni's commitment to responsible business practices and ensures Centinela's prominence in the global copper market.