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Chilean State-owned miner Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, said on Tuesday it had extracted ore for the first time from the Rajo Inca project.

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.