TECK CHILE WILL REVEAL QUEBRADA BLANCA PHASE 2 AT EXPONOR 2017
Exhibitors from 30 countries will form part of this event, which brings together companies and suppliers linked to the mining industry. On this occasion, the Canadian company will discuss its prospects in the Chilean market, with a focus on an expansion project marked by technological innovation in the use of desalinated water for productive processes. The company, which will also be present with a stand at the exhibition, is carrying out two projects aimed at boosting its production: Nueva Union, in conjunction with Goldcorp, located in the province of Huasco (Atacama Region) and Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (Q2B), which involves the expansion of its existing operation in Tarapacá. This project incorporates important innovations in the productive process, which are aimed at extending the facility’s useful life by 25 years, as explained by the director of Social Responsibility and Corporate Affairs for the mine in Chile, Amparo Cornejo. Tell us, what is the importance of being part of Exponor 2017 for Teck? - Exponor is an important business opportunity in the industrial sector. In mining, particularly, it allows companies to make contact with a wide range of suppliers and get to know what is on offer, both in the domestic market and at an international level, in terms of different products, services and technological innovations which aim to strengthen productive linkages. It is also relevant for us to be present in the Region of Antofagasta, which is a zone with a lot of mining activity and borders on the regions where our projects and operations are located. What are your expectations in terms of your interaction with visitors to the show? - For Teck, it is very important to inform and consult regularly with our stakeholders regularly about the projects that we aim to carry out, in order to receive feedback, contributions and opinions. In fact, even before we submitted it to the Environmental Impact Assessment System, we carried out a comprehensive process of Advance Community Environmental Participation, informing the community about this initiative and responding to questions. In this context, it is very important for the company that the most relevant actors in the industry, whether they are mining companies, suppliers or the academic world, get to know our proposals and give us their suggestions and comments. Exponor will be critical in order to achieve this. What are the projects that you will exhibit at Exponor? - At this time, the goal is to raise awareness of the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 project (QB2), which is located in a mountainous area at 4,400 meters above sea level, and aims to extend exploitation of the current deposit by more than 25 years. According to the recently concluded feasibility study, QB2 will involve an investment of US$ 4.7 billion (according to first quarter 2016 exchange rates, not including working capital or interest during the construction stage). This study shows production of 275,000 tonnes of fine copper over the first five years of the life of the mine, as well as over 7,700 tonnes of molybdenum. What will be involved in the construction of the QB2 project? - One of the most relevant aspects of this project is that it will make use of sea water throughout the operation of the project. This initiative will involve construction of a primary crusher, ore transport belt, concentrator plant, molybdenum plant, tailings deposit, seawater capture system, desalination plant, port facilities at Patache North, copper concentrate transport system (concentrate pipeline) and water pipeline, as well as electrical supply lines for the pumping stations. What are the highlights of QB2, and how will it contribute to the development of the mining industry? - In sustainability terms, the most important thing to highlight is that the water which will be used in processing the ore will come from the sea, so no fresh water will be used in the operation throughout its lifecycle. In terms of local development, this project will generate approximately 11,000 jobs during the peak period of labor demand, which will be the construction phase. In this way, Quebrada Blanca will keep to its commitment of being an important direct and indirect source of employment in the region. During the operating phase as well as construction, Quebrada Blanca has prioritized local labor. In order to continue to do this, we hope to work with the government and communities on options to expand training and broaden the opportunities for local workers and suppliers. Exponor 2017 will take place from May 15th to 19th at the AIA Event Ground, with the United States as guest nation. It has the support and participation of important actors in the sector: Antofagasta Minerals, Minera El Abra, Codelco, Minera Escondida, SQM, Yamana Gold and the Supplier Qualification System (SICEP). Its sponsors are: the Mining Council, Sonami, Sofofa, Aprimin, Corfo, the Chilean Government, the Ministry of Mining, the Ministry for the Economy, Development and Tourism, Pro Chile, Direcon and the Regional Government. Its press partners are the magazine Minería Chilena, Radio Bío-bío and El Nortero.