Southern Copper Will Open New Zinc Plant in Mexico

Southern Copper Corp. is building a new concentrator at its Buenavista mine, in Sonora, Mexico. When it becomes operational in 2023, the company said it will produce approximately 100,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of zinc and 20,000 mt/y of copper.

Procurement has progressed and almost all (96%) of the main equipment is on-site. Construction site works are in progress. The project has all the necessary permits and the capital budget is $413 million. When completed, this new facility will double the company’s zinc production capacity and provide 490 direct jobs and 1,470 indirect jobs.

The original concentrator currently has a nominal grinding capacity of 82,000 mt/d. A second concentrator began operations in 2016 and currently has a nominal grinding capacity of 115,000 mt/d. Both mainly produce copper with some molybdenum byproducts.

Buenavista claims to be the oldest continuously operating copper mine in North America, with operations dating back to 1899. The first pit at Buenavista was developed in the early 1940s by the Anaconda Co.

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