Cauquenes Expansion Project
The work to develop the 300 million tonne historic high grade Cauquenes tailings deposit was successfully completed in December 2018. In April 2014, MVC signed a contract with El Teniente, enabling MVC to commence with the development of the Cauquenes tailings deposit. The Cauquenes expansion project was undertaken in two phases in order to reduce project risk and lower cost. The Cauquenes expansion was financed with bank debt, eliminating dilution to shareholders.
The first phase of the expansion project was completed in December 2015 at a cost of $66.6 million, enabling MVC to extract Cauquenes tailings at a rate of 60,000 tpd for processing in the existing processing plant. The project increased MVC's annual copper production from 37 million pounds to 57 million pounds in 2016.
The Cauquenes Phase Two Expansion project was completed in December 2018 at a cost of $39.9 million. This project delivered the new plant required to improve flotation recovery efficiency for copper and molybdenum. The molybdenum plant is currently undergoing expansion at an estimated cost of $7.8 million.
MVC is now expected to achieve an estimated annual production of 80 to 85 million pounds of copper, at a cash cost of $1.45 per pound.
Conceptual layout of MVC's phase two plant expansion