Cerro Verde Mine

Description: Cerro Verde is an open-pit copper and molybdenum mining complex.

Location: Approximately 20 miles southwest of Arequipa, Peru.

Did you know? Construction activities associated with a large-scale expansion at Cerro Verde were completed in September 2015. The project expanded the concentrator facilities from 120,000 metric tons-per-day (mtd) to 360,000 mtd and provides incremental annual production of approximately 600 million pounds of copper and 15 million pounds of molybdenum.

Ores: The Cerro Verde mine is a porphyry copper deposit that has oxide and secondary sulfide mineralization, and primary sulfide mineralization. The predominant oxide copper minerals are brochanite, chrysocolla, malachite and copper “pitch.” Chalcocite and covellite are the most important secondary copper sulfide minerals. Chalcopyrite and molybdenite are the dominant primary sulfides.

Processes and facilities: Cerro Verde’s operation includes a 360,000 mtd concentrator and solution extraction/electrowinning (SX/EW) leaching facilities. Leach copper production is derived from a 39,000 mtd crushed leach facility and a run-of-mine leach system. The SX/EW leaching operation has a capacity of approximately 200 million pounds of copper per year.

Background: Spaniards mined high-grade copper oxide ore from Cerro Verde and shipped it to Wales in the mid-1800s. Anaconda owned the property from 1916 until 1970, when the mine was acquired by the Peruvian government. The government mined Cerro Verde’s oxide ores and built one of the world’s first SX/EW facilities in 1972. Cyprus Amax purchased the operation in 1994 and invested substantial capital in the property to upgrade and improve productivity. In the eight years after privatization, copper production increased by about 350% and costs were reduced by more than 40%.

Ownership: 53.56% FCX; 21% SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands B.V. (a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining Company Ltd.); 19.58% Compañia de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A.; and 5.86% by other shareholders whose shares are publicly traded on the Lima Stock Exchange.