China Minmetals-owned MMG said its Las Bambas project in Peru was 80% complete at the end of December 2014 and it continues to expect its first copper concentrate in the first quarter of 2016.

“We have been working very closely with the local community to ensure a smooth transition as families continue to relocate to the new Fuerabamba town,” ceo Andrew Michelmore said in a statement on Thursday January 15.

About 75% of families have now moved with the relocation expected to be largely complete in the first quarter of 2015, he added, saying that this has no impact on project construction.

“Construction of the Las Bambas project continued in the fourth quarter 2014 with the main activity focusing on the construction of the processing plant, primary crusher, overland conveyor and key surface infrastructure, along with the design of concentrate logistics,” the company said.

Pre-stripping activity will start in the first quarter 2015 to enable the commencement of mining in the Ferrobamba pit, MMG said

MMG has said that it expects capital expenditure to complete the Las Bambas mining complex to be in the range of $2.7 billion-$3.2 billion.

The project, which is expected to cost a total of $7 billion, is slated to eventually be one of the three biggest copper mines in the world.

In October, the company had delayed the first production at Las Bambas to first quarter of 2016 after identifying “significant risks” to the project's schedule and capex guidance.

Shivani Singh
Twitter: @ShivaniSingh_MB