The Quebrada Blanca mine is located in Tarapacá Region of northern Chile at an elevation of 4,400 metres, approximately 240 kilometres southeast of the city of Iquique and 1,500 kilometres from Santiago.
Teck holds an indirect 60% interest in the mine. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation together have a collective 30% indirect interest in the mine. ENAMI, a Chilean state agency, has a 10% non-funding interest.
Quebrada Blanca is an open pit operation, which leaches the ore to produce copper cathodes via processing in an SX-EW plant. Copper cathode is trucked to Iquique for shipment to purchasers. Mine personnel live in a camp facility, and the majority commute from large population centres, including Iquique, Arica and Santiago.
Mining operations ceased in the fourth quarter of 2018, and mining equipment and personnel have been redeployed to the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project. Copper cathode production is now expected to continue through 2023 using existing leach piles, and we expect 2023 to be the final year of cathode production.