Korea Resources Corp., a state-owned minerals explorer, said its Boleo copper project in Mexico will begin production in 2013, supplying South Korea with about 30 percent of the mine’s output.
The mine on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula is expected to produce 38,000 metric tons of copper annually for 23 years starting in the second half of 2013, the Seoul-based company, which owns 10 percent of the project, said in an e-mailed statement today. South Korea will import about 12,000 tons anually from the project, it said.
Canada’s Baja Mining Corp. (BAJ) holds 70 percent of the mine, while the Korean group including Korea Resources, LS-Nikko Copper Inc., steelmaker Hyundai Hysco (010520) and trader SK Networks Co. own a combined 30 percent, the statement said.
South Korea is Asia’s third-biggest user of refined copper after China and Japan, according to figures by London-based metals research company CRU. Last year, Korea consumed about 940,000 tons of the metal used in wires, pipes and cables, Korea Resources said.
Copper on the London Metal Exchange has jumped about 36 percent in the past year as supply trails demand, reaching a record $10,190 a ton in February. The metal for three-month delivery fell 0.6 percent to $9,097 a ton at 5:36 p.m. Seoul time.
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