With 22 months of pre-stripping to be undertaken, production is scheduled for the second semester of 2022. Salvador produced about 60,000t of copper in 2020.
Optimisation of the project has reduced the initial capital required by 33% since the project was first contemplated in 2014, according to Codelco, with a focus on the tailings storage facility, the concentrating and hydrometallurgical plants, and re-use of mining equipment.
Rajo Inca represents a new lease of life for Codelco's Salvador division, which was threatened with closure in the past decades due to high costs. The new deposit will add 47 years to the operation's life. The deposit has exploitable reserves of 796 million tonnes grading 0.59% copper.