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Rajo de Chuquicamata to extend exploitation phase

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Global Mining Review,

After a technical-economic analysis, adjustments in the designs and the performance of the equipment and the good results of the Rajo Mine, Codelco has confirmed that it will extend the exploitation phase of the deposit for 1 additional year.

The original programme considered finalising the exploitation of the mine in December 2020 and focusing efforts only on the movement of stock material during 2021 and 2022.

The continuity, now, contemplates the extraction of mineral from phase 49, a process that during 2021 may coexist with the operation of the underground mine, which also presents positive returns in its ramp up. In this way, the ore loading and extraction equipment will continue to operate in the mine, as well as maintenance and production support services.

The positive numbers obtained in the pit this year are based on the improvement of work practices, the increase in productivity and the implementation of the 7 x 7 workday, which provides better conditions to maintain safety against COVID-19, operational continuity and quality of working life.

The mine during 2020 will contribute more than 30 000 additional t of fine copper to the budget plan, which will allow to continue generating surpluses for Chile.

The executive president, Octavio Araneda, explained: "During this year, and despite the complications of the pandemic, the transformation roadmap remains intact. We have promoted and reached new ways of operating, which has resulted in the Chuquicamata case, in a pit team that adapted, aspired to more and sought continuous improvement. The commitment of the workers in this area shows that putting operational excellence among the priority objectives has concrete positive consequences."

Araneda emphasised that the mine maintains continuous improvement both in the excellence of its operations, which involves cost reduction and productivity growth, and in the promotion of enablers, which implies guaranteeing safety. and occupational health, a deep cultural transformation, better talent management and a deep vocation to be sustainable.

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