The project for the formation of leachable deposits with crushing and conveyor belts in Toquepala was completed, as well as the construction of new dams for PLS. SCC announced an ambitious investment program for $2,108 million, which included the development of the Tía María copper deposit (with a production capacity of 120,000 tons of SX-EW copper), the expansion of mine and concentrator operations in Cuajone and Toquepala; in addition, the current processing capacity of the smelter and refinery to treat the new production of concentrates.
Operations began at the by-product treatment plant in La Caridad metallurgical complex, and the modernization of the Agua Prieta Lime Plant was also completed, which meets Mexican environmental regulations.
The pre-feasibility studies for the expansion of the Toquepala and Cuajone concentrators to 100,000 t/day and 105,000 t/day, respectively, were completed.
The Company issued an additional $400 million of notes from its 30-year program, and the issue proceeds were used in its expansion programs. As part of the modernization of the copper smelter in Ilo (Peru), blister production was replaced by anode production. The sulfides capture increased from 33% to more than 92%, in accordance with the commitment made with the Peruvian Government in 1997.
In April Southern Peru Copper Corporation merges with Minera Mexico and subsidiaries, consolidating itself as the most important mining company in Mexico and Peru, as well as the company with the largest copper reserves among companies listed on the stock exchange and one of the largest mining-metallurgical corporations in the world. Cerro Trading Company, Inc., SPC Investors L.L.C., Phelps Dodge Overseas Capital Corporation and Climax Molybdenum B.V., subsidiaries of two of SCC’s founding shareholders, sold their 14%(Phelps Dodge) and 14.2% Cerro) stakes in SCC. In order to adequately reflect the scope of operations of the consolidated Company, the Board of Directors approved the change of corporate name from Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC) to Southern Copper Corporation (SCC) and received investment grade from S&P and Fitch. Subsequently, Moody’s granted SCC investment grade.
The Ilo Smelter modernization project began with the aim of improving efficiency in copper production to capture at least 92% of SO2 emissions and smelt 1.1 million tons of copper concentrate per year.
In 2001, the LESDE II Cananea plant expanded its production capacity to 54,800 tons/year.
In 2000, La Caridad wire rod plant expanded its production capacity to 150,000 t/year.