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Feasibility Study Launched to Examine Molybdenum Expansion Project at Altonorte

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Xstrata Copper’s North Chile Division announces the commencement of feasibility studies on an expansion to more than double molybdenum processing capacity at its Altonorte metallurgical facility.
The project’s environmental impact study will be submitted to Chile’s environmental authorities for approval in early 2008.
Subject to environmental approvals and a positive feasibility study, construction is expected to start in the second half of 2008 with commercial production commencing in the second half of 2009.
Initial estimates indicate an investment of approximately US$40 million will be required to refurbish a second molybdenum roaster at Altonorte that is currently idle and to construct a Brenda molybdenum leaching plant.
The two projects would increase molybdenum processing capacity at Altonorte from the current 12,000 tonnes per annum to 28,000 tonnes per annum.
“This project forms part of North Chile Division’s strategy to transform Altonorte into a world class metallurgical facility that meets the highest environmental standards and offers a wide diversity of products,” said North Chile Division Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jon Evans.
In June 2007, Altonorte began construction of an expansion to increase copper concentrate processing capacity by over 30% to 1.2 million tonnes and sulphuric acid production to 1.1 million tonnes per annum from the first quarter of 2009. This expansion will also increase Altonorte’s sulphur emission capture to 95.5%.
Altonorte is also implementing a series of environmental upgrade projects that will require additional investment of US$28 million, including further measures to capture emissions and a dust treatment plant.
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