The Caserones copper mine in Chile will reach full production in September and contribute earnings to its shareholder JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp. next fiscal year, the Japanese company said.
The $4.2 billion mine will produce 180,000 metric tons a year, said Shigeru Oi, president of the Japan’s top producer of refined copper. That would make it the ninth-largest in Chile, the world’s biggest producer of the metal, according to SNL Metals & Mining.
The mine will boost profit annually from next fiscal year starting April 1, Oi said in an interview. Global copper demand will exceed supply by 90,000 tons in 2014 and 2015, according to a report by Morgan Stanley yesterday.
“The company will continue to look for new mines, including the Frontera deposit between Chile and Argentina and the Quechua project in Peru,” Oi said, who became president last month.
JX owns 66 percent of Pan Pacific Copper Co., which holds 77 percent of the Caserones. The mine will make its first concentrate shipment, of as much as 10,000 tons, to Japan this month, he said.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.2 percent to $7,146 a ton by 9:12 a.m. in Tokyo, paring its decline this year to 2.9 percent. It’s the worst performer among the six main metals traded on the LME in 2014.
Pan Pacific produces 600,000 tons a year of refined copper, including output from scrap, according to Oi. The company is raising concentrate procurement rates from its own mines to 50 percent from 20 percent, Oi said.
JX Nippon Mining’s investments and operations cover mines, smelting, recycling and production of electronic parts. It’s other mine investments in Chile are a 15 percent stake in Los Pelambres mine, 3.6 percent in Collahuasi and 3 percent in Escondida.
JX Nippon Mining is a unit of JX Holdings Inc. (5020) Shares of JX Holdings rose 0.4 percent to 534 yen today.
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