Chinalco Mining Corp. International began operations on Tuesday at the Toromocho open-pit copper project in Peru, the Wall Street Journal reported. President Ollanta Humala officially launched production in a ceremony at the mine site, which was some 4,800 meters above sea level in Peru’s central Andean region, it said. Toromocho is the first mine in Latin America set up from scratch by a Chinese company. Chinalco said initial cost to bring Toromocho to production was US$3.5 billion. It earlier revealed plans to spend an additional US$1.3 billion on an expansion project. The company estimates production of one million tons of copper concentrate a year. Peru’s energy and mines ministry says the mine will eventually turn out about 250,000 tons of refined copper per year. Toromocho will also produce molybdenum and silver, the report said.
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