Japan-based JX Nippon Mining and Metals corporation has reached a basic understanding with its partners Mitsui & Co and Mitsui Mining and Smelting to obtain rights and interests in the Caserones Copper mine in Chile. With the move, the company aims to strengthen its supply chain.
In 2006, JX Nippon and Mitsui Kinzoku together acquired rights in the mine under a Joint Venture Pan Pacific Copper, to be joined by Mitsui and Co in 2010. In its early days, the project faced hiccups and construction delays resulting in elevated costs. Subsequently, Caserone’s output stabilized at around 100,000mt. In April 2020, the venture Pan Pacific Copper was transferred to Nippon Caserones Resources.
JX Nippon in its statement, says the mine is a valuable resource for its smelting and refining facilities. It believes, despite the grade of copper ores declining and impurities rising worldwide, the value of high-quality and clean ore at the mine is rising. Once it acquires full rights, the company will invest in automation to extend the life of the mine and its production.