Rajo Inca, which is more than 60% built, is set to formally kick off operations next year.
The initiative looks to extend the useful life of Codelco’s small Salvador mine in the north of the country.
The state-run miner is struggling to reinvigorate copper production, which is at its lowest level in 25 years, with a swath of investments in so-called “structural projects,” which includes Rajo Inca.
Striking the ore-filled rock is a key step as the Rajo Inca looks to kick off metal concentration in March of next year, Codelco said in a statement.
The mine’s concentrator plant will ramp up processing over seven months to reach 37,000 metric tons of ore a day, the firm added.