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Lundin Mining hopes to strengthen its role as a major player in Chile’s copper industry after a $600-million project for its key Candelaria mine was approved, a top executive said on Friday.

“The project involves the construction of various facilities and initiatives that, together, position us more strongly in copper production and represent continuous investment, local employment and development of local suppliers,” the general manager of Minera Candelaria, Karina Brino, said.

She added that the approval means extending operations by another decade. Earlier this month, Chile’s Environmental Assessment Commission gave the project the green light.

Candelaria produced 126 300 metric tons of copper in 2022. The company said the project will lead to 1 500 additional jobs, adding to the current workforce of about 7 000.

In April, Lundin agreed to pay $950-million for 51% of the Caserones mine in Chile that was held by Japan’s JX Nippon Mining & Metals, a unit of oil and metals giant Eneos Holdings.