Mining Intelligence and News

Candelaria Mine

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Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Sub-level open stoping (SLOS)
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe Candelaria copper mining operations are part of the Candelaria Copper Mining Complex.

In early 2022, a feasibility study update was completed for expansion of throughput of the underground mines from 14 ktpd to up to 26 ktpd and included underground crushing and conveying systems and a surface secondary crushing plant.

The expansion project is currently under evaluation based on the latest Mineral Reserves and other potential changes anticipated for the base LOM (being the LOM without expansion).
Related AssetCandelaria Complex


Sumitomo Corp. 4 % Indirect
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd 16 % Indirect
Lundin Mining Corp. 80 % Indirect
As part of its Candelaria segment, the Company owns 80% of Compañia Contractual Minera Candelaria S.A. and Compañia Contractual Minera Ojos del Salado S.A.’s copper mining operations and supporting infrastructure in Chile. The remaining 20% ownership stake is held by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation.



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Deposit type

  • IOCG
  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork
  • Vein / narrow vein
  • Skarn
  • Manto


Deposit Types
The copper-gold sulphide mineralization present at the Candelaria Copper Mining Complex is generally referred to as iron oxide copper gold (IOCG). Depending on lithology and the structural setting, the polymetallic sulphide mineralization can occur as veins, hydrothermal breccias, replacement mantos, and calcic skarns (Sillitoe, 2003).

The Candelaria IOCG deposit lies within the metamorphic aureole of the Lower Cretaceous magmatic arc plutonic complex that is located within the Candelaria-Punta del Cobre district, Atacama Region, northern Chile. IOCG deposits are primarily defined by their elevated magnetite and / or hematite with elevated copper and gold contents (Sillitoe, 2003). The IOCG belt located in the Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile and southern Peru is part of a volcano-plutonic arc of Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age. The arc is characterized by voluminous tholeiitic to calc-alkaline plutonic complexes of gabbro to granodiorite composition and primitive, mantle-derived parentage. Major arc-parallel fault systems developed in response to extension and transtension induced by subduction roll-back at the retreating convergent margin.

Most of the sulphide mineralization at Candelaria and Ojos del Salado occurs in breccias, stockwork veinlets, and disseminations in andesite, especially where the rocks are strongly foliated. Highergrade copper mineralization is controlled by stratigraphy in mantos and by faults, trending predominantly northwest. The host rocks are thermally metamorphosed (hornfels and skarn) in the aureole of the Copiapó Batholith, within 1 kilometre from the intrusion. The top of the mineralization system consists of magnetite-amphibole skarn within calcareous meta-tuff mineralized with pyrrhotite, pyrite and chalcopyrite.

Mineralization at the Candelaria Mine
The main mineralized body at the Candelaria mine is hosted in rocks of the Punta del Cobre Formation. Specifically, the host rocks are massive andesite and andesite breccias of the Lower Andesite, and volcanic tuffs and volcaniclastic rocks comprising the base of the Upper Andesite. In the metasedimentary rock unit, the mineralization is confined to a few isolated layers (mantos).

The mineralized body is up to 400 metres thick in its central part and thins towards the edges. In east-west sections, the mineralization has a lenticular, downward concave shape with a steep eastern limb and a moderately steep dipping western limb. The shape of the mineralized body in north-south section is irregular. In plan view, the extent of the mineralization is approximately 1,400 metres by 2,400 metres. The mineralized body was folded after its formation. The northnortheast-trending fold axis corresponds to the Tierra Amarilla Anticline.

The mineralization assemblage in the Candelaria mine consists of chalcopyrite, magnetite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, and sphalerite. Biotite, calc-silicate minerals, and potassium feldspar constitute the gangue minerals. Pervasive potassic alteration is associated with the mineralization.

Dominant copper mineralization styles are mantos, veins, breccia bodies, and veinlets along foliation planes. Gold occurs within chalcopyrite grains and along fractures surface in pyrite. Chalcopyrite and pyrite also occur in secondary northwest and north-northwest-striking faults.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills


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Combined production numbers are reported under Candelaria Complex
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Operational metrics

Daily processing capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe75,000 t75,000 t
Annual processing capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe27 Mt

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 3, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 3, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 3, 2024
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Aerial view:


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