The San Matias project It is the new bet of the country in the short term for the extraction of copper. The mining complex, located in the municipality of Puerto Libertador (Córdoba) will become the second medium-scale operation and industrial production of the metal.
In dialogue with Portfolio, Santiago Varela, general manager of Minerales Córdobathe company that is in charge of executing the copper initiative, affirmed that US$100 million have been disbursed to date in the San Matías initiative, of the US$800 million earmarked for investment in the development of the complex, and that the operation It will contribute US$500 million in income and more than US$180 million in royalties.
Why will the project be attractive to the country?
The San Matías initiative is qualified by the Nation as a Project of Strategic National Interest (Pine). We have been in the exploratory stage for several months. The area covered by the initiative is 394 hectares (ha), and its operation is open-pit on a medium scale. To the date US$100 million have been invested of the US$800 million for the assembly of the mining complex. The contribution in rent will be US$500 million and in royalties it will be more than US$180 million in its initial stage of operation.
How much do you estimate the production?
Estimated Production are 470,000 tons of copper, one million ounces of gold and more than eight million ounces of silver. The average daily production will be 22,000 tons of material. It is a mining project of an important dimension that will generate a positive impact in the region. We are evaluating a production that will begin between 16,000 and 24,000 tons per day, under the highest quality standards and being respectful of the good management of natural resources.
We estimate that by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024 we will start assembling the infrastructure in the complex
What is the balance in the development of the project?
Since 2020 we have been carrying out the exploratory phase. In addition, we are developing the feasibility studies and the design of the mine, which will last approximately one year. We hope to present the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to the National Environmental Licensing Authority (Anla) in early 2023.
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Due to the importance of the project for the country, we estimate that by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024 we will begin the assembly of the infrastructure. Commercial production would be calculated for the beginning of 2026. The useful life of the mining complex is initially estimated at 13 years with the exploration results we have to date. But it could be expanded with more research work in the field.
Why the interest of Minerales Córdoba in this operation?
Colombia has been very little explored for the extraction of this metal. This area, that of the municipality of Puerto Libertador, has a developing potential for copper production. The results after the exploration works have been quite satisfactory. There is a good prospect.
How will the operation impact the communities?
Our purpose is to contribute positively to the region. We want to be a benchmark in Colombia in the development of mining projects that listen to the voice of the people and promote well-being of communities that inhabit the area of influence and neighboring areas. We have a mobile social team that engages in open dialogue and has a direct relationship with 12 communities, including those that live in the project’s area of influence and other neighbors.
How much have they invested in the community?
The social obligations They are fundamental since without the joint work with the community, the materialization of a project like these is not feasible. In total, close to $1,200 million have been allocated not only in civil works but also in human capital that accompanies the strengthening of the social fabric of the community.
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Our goal is to establish a relationship of mutual benefit with all communities. We want to bring formal employment for skilled and unskilled labor to the territory, projecting an increase in the consumption of goods and services thanks to the development of the activity of the mining complex.