Global miner Rio Tinto plans to spend $108mn to study the underground development of the Kennecott copper mine in the US.
The mine has declared mineral resources of 20mn mt grading at 3.65pc copper and the company is confident that the latest investment will help improve the output from this mine. The latest outlay is in addition to $25mn approved by Rio’s board in 2020 to complete a pre-feasibility study of the mine.
The new investment will help Rio to gather geological and hydrological data under a feasibility study that is expected to be completed by 2024, the company indicated in a statement on Thursday.
Through Kennecott, Rio plans to extend its supply of copper to meet pent-up demand for the red metal. According to Bold Bataar, chief executive officer at Rio, the mine is unique to supply copper to emerging markets given that one of the two operating smelters in the US is in that region.