Production is expected to start by the end of 2010 and the mine should produce about 700,000 tonnes of concentrate annually in its first 10 years of operation. The company has secured a $1.05bn loan for the project from various government institutions and private banks. Last year the company sold a 30% stake in the project to Japanese trading firm Marubeni for $1.3bn to help fund the mine’s construction. 

Zinc refinery for Peru

Brazilian mining conglomerate Votorantim, a privately held company and the world’s fifth largest primary zinc producer is to invest $500m to expand its Cajamarquilla zinc refinery in Peru. The upgrade is due for completion by the end of 2009 and will increase the plant’s capacity from 160,000 tonnes to 320,000 tonnes a year.