The Agua Rica project has been integrated with the MineraAlumbrera plant and infrastructure by YAMANA GOLD INC. (NYSE: AUY). The integrated project will be known as the MARA Project in the future.
After integrating the existing substantial infrastructure used to process ore from the Alumbrera mine during its mine life, including processing facilities, a fully permitted tailings storage facility, transportation pipelines, buildings, and other infrastructure, the proposed open-pit Agua Rica mine, processing Agua Rica ore to produce copper concentrates will be implemented with relatively modest modifications to the existing circuit. The concentrates will then be transported to the port for commercialization. There are 36 kilometers between the mine and the plant, and the ore will be transported there by an overland conveyor.
Among the lowest capital intensity projects in the world based on copper produced and in-place copper mineral reserves, the result is a significantly de-risked project with a smaller environmental footprint and new opportunities for improvements.
Yamana owns 56.25% of Agua Rica, and the other partners of Alumbrera have created a new joint venture, with Glencore holding 25.00% and Newmont Corp. holding 18.75%. In addition to being the operator of the Joint Venture, Yamana will continue to lead the engagement with local and provincial partners and the completion of the Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Assessment for the MARA Project. Representatives of the three companies have formed a technical committee to oversee these efforts.
Peter Marrone, Executive Chairman of Yamana, says that a greenfield project becomes a brownfield project much less risky by integrating the operations than it was before. By leveraging existing infrastructure, the project’s economics and permitting are enhanced, the environmental footprint of the project is reduced, and the project’s value is significantly augmented.
The MARA project already has critical development components of a plant and related infrastructure in place, improving the development risk profile and the project’s quality. We look forward to working with our partners Newmont and Glencore, on the development of the project, Marrone continued.