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Xstrata signs £2.7bn Peru copper mine deal

Peru’s government and Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata signed a deal Thursday under which the company will spend £2.7bn to develop the Las Bambas copper mine, in what President Alan Garcia called the “contract of the century.”

Garcia said the deal will help keep Peru among the world’s top copper producers and boost its development. It is currently second to Chile in copper production.

Xstrata Copper chief executive Charlie Sartain said the company won the rights to explore Las Bambas in 2004 and it has since worked with local communities, suppliers and national and regional authorities to advance the project.

Xstrata will invest £2.7bn starting next year and the mine will initially produce 400,000t of copper concentrate a year, according to a statement from the government.

Las Bambas is located in the Apurimac region, 580km southeast of the capital, Lima.

Officials say the mine’s lifespan is expected to be 18 years. The project will generate 3,600 jobs during its construction and 1,350 permanent jobs during its operation.

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