Mining Intelligence and News

Las Bambas Mine

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
  • Copper
  • Molybdenum
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start2015
Mine Life2040
SnapshotLas Bambas is one of the world’s largest copper mines with near term organic growth optionality.

The Chalcobamba project, as part of the next phase of development at Las Bambas, is located around three kilometres from the current processing plant. In March 2022, the Peru Ministry of Energy and Mines granted regulatory approval for the development of the Chalcobamba pit and associated infrastructure.

Early works at Chalcobamba have now commenced and the Las Bambas team is working toward enduring agreements for the development of the Chalcobamba deposit with the Huancuire community.

MMG remains committed to working closely with the Government of Peru and community members for transparent and constructive dialogue.

In addition to the Chalcobamba project, successful deep drilling below the current Ferrobamba pit has defined the depth extension. Ongoing studies are being conducted based on these positive results.


CITIC Metal Co. Ltd 15 % Indirect
Guoxin International Investment Co. Ltd 22.5 % Indirect
MMG Ltd. (operator) 62.5 % Indirect
Las Bambas is a joint venture project between the operator MMG (62.5%), a wholly owned subsidiary of Guoxin International Investment Co. Ltd (22.5%), and CITIC Metal Co. Ltd (15.0%). Minera Las Bambas S.A., is a non-wholly owned subsidiary of MMG and the owner of the Las Bambas mine.


ContractorContractDescriptionRef. DateSource
Peru national energy grid Power supply High voltage electrical power is sourced from the national grid Cotaruse – Las Bambas, with a capacity of 220kV. Jun 30, 2023
unawarded or unknown Drilling & Blasting Contracts were finalised for blasting and drilling services. Jun 30, 2023

Deposit type

  • Skarn
  • Porphyry


Las Bambas is located in a belt of Cu (Mo-Au) skarn deposits associated with porphyry type systems situated in south-eastern Peru. This metallogenic belt is controlled by the Andahuaylas-Yauri Batholith of Eocene- Oligocene age, which is emplaced in Mesozoic sedimentary units, with the Ferrobamba Formation (Lower-to-Upper Cretaceous) being of greatest mineralising importance.

The porphyry style mineralisation occurs in quartz-monzonite to granodiorite rocks. Hypogene copper sulphides are the main copper bearing minerals with minor occurrence of supergene copper oxides and carbonates near surface. The intrusive rocks of the batholith in contact with the Ferrobamba limestones gave rise to contact metamorphism and, in certain locations, skarn bodies with Cu (Mo-Au) mineralisation.

The Las Bambas Mineral Resources comprise three distinct deposits; each have been defined by drilling and estimated:
o Ferrobamba Mineral Resources occupies a footprint which is 2500m N-S and 1800m E-W and over 900m vertically.
o Chalcobamba Mineral Resources occupies a footprint of 2300m N-S and 1300m E-W and 800m vertically
o Sulfobamba Mineral Resources is 1800m along strike in a NE direction and 850m across strike in a NW direction and 450m deep.

Reserves at June 30, 2023

Las Bambas Mineral Resources cut-off grades:
- Ferrobamba Oxide Copper and Chalcobamba Oxide Copper - 1% Cu Cut-off grade contained within a US$4.71/lb pit shell for oxide material;
- Ferrobamba Primary Copper - Average 0.15% Cu Cut-off grade contained within a US$4.71/lb pit shell for primary material;
- Chalcobamba Primary Copper - Average 0.17% Cu Cut-off grade contained within a US$4.04/lb pit shell for primary material;
- Sulfobamba Primary Copper - Average 0.19% Cu Cut-off grade contained within a US$4.04/lb pit shell for primary material.

Las Bambas Ore Reserves cut-off grades:
- Ferrobamba Primary Copper - 0.18% to 0.22% Cu cut-off grade based on rock type and recovery;
- Chalcobamba Primary Copper - 0.21% to 0.28% Cu cut-off grade based on rock type and recovery;
- Sulfobamba Primary Copper - 0.23% to 0.28% Cu cut-off grade based on rock type and recovery.

Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of Mineral Reserves.
CategoryTonnage CommodityGradeContained Metal
Proven & Probable 740 Mt Copper 0.66 % 4,900 kt
Proven & Probable 740 Mt Molybdenum 170 ppm 130 kt
Proven & Probable 740 Mt Gold 0.04 g/t 1 M oz
Proven & Probable 740 Mt Silver 3.2 g/t 76 M oz
Total Resource 1,300 Mt Copper 0.6 % 7,600 kt
Total Resource 1,300 Mt Molybdenum 160 ppm 200 kt
Total Resource 1,300 Mt Gold 0.04 g/t 2 M oz
Total Resource 1,300 Mt Silver 2.9 g/t 120 M oz

Mining Methods

  • Truck & Shovel / Loader


Mining of the Las Bambas deposits is undertaken by open pit method, which is expected to continue throughout the life of mine. Large scale mining equipment including 300 tonne trucks and 100 tonne electric face shovels are used for material movement.

The mining method selected for the Las Bambas operation is open cut mining, which enables bulk mining of these large low to moderate grade mineral deposits that are outcropping to sub-cropping. Three deposits, Ferrobamba, Chalcobamba and Sulfobamba are each mined in separate open pits. Mining is by way of conventional truck and shovel operation. This method and selected mining equipment are appropriate for these deposits.

In the pit, the minimum mining width is 70m; the Selective Mining Unit (SMU) has been set at 20m x 20m x 15m.

The Chalcobamba project, as part of the next phase of development at Las Bambas, is located around three kilometres from the current processing plant. In March 2022, the Peru Ministry of Energy and Mines granted regulatory approval for the development of the Chalcobamba pit and associated infrastructure.

An extension of Chalcobamba pit in the southwest sector (CBSW) is included in the reserve, after the completion of various assessments and studies, including mine planning, geological confirmation and hydrogeological, geotechnical and metallurgical studies. It also forms part of the Las Bambas permitting plan.

The development of the next phase of Las Bambas, through the Chalcobamba deposit, will meaningfully
increase production to 380,000-400,000 tonnes per annum over the medium term.


Crushers and Mills

Ball mill 3


Las Bambas’ third ball mill was successfully commissioned during the fourth quarter of 2022.


  • Crush & Screen plant
  • Flotation
  • Dewatering


The metallurgical process is a conventional froth flotation concentrator and thickener to produce two separate Cu and Mo concentrates and is appropriate for the style of mineralization.

Metallurgical Copper concentration process comprises the following activities; Crushing, Grinding and Flotation, producing copper and molybdenum concentrates. Copper concentrates contain gold and silver as byproducts.

The ore is crushed and transported on a 5.5-kilometre overland conveyor to a conventional flotation plant where copper concentrate is produced, then to a molybdenum plant for further processing. Concentrate is then transported by truck and rail to the Port of Matarani in the Arequipa region, where it is shipped to customers worldwide.

Recoveries & Grades:

Copper Recovery Rate, % 86.285.386.98788.186.284.377.1
Copper Head Grade, % 0.660.670.690.790.840.91.050.93
Copper Concentrate Grade, % 34.433.833.634.838.537.938.136
Molybdenum Concentrate Grade, % 46.54847.647.54748.949.2
Molybdenum Recovery Rate, % 79.580.1

Water Supply


Las Bambas authorised use of water runoff from the Chalhuahuacho River. Water recycling and re-use within the mine eliminates negative impacts with any discharge meeting relevant Peruvian environmental standards.

Water supply is sufficient for site and processing, sourced from the following: rainfall and runoff into Chuspiri dam, groundwater wells, contact waters, recirculating water in the process plant, pump station from Challhuahuacho River off-take structure.


Copper and Molybdenum numbers are reported as production. Silver and Gold numbers are reported as sales.
Copper Metal in concentrate t 280,000-325,000 ^302,033254,836290,097311,020382,518385,299453,749330,227
Copper Concentrate kt 8787548638939941,0181,192926
Molybdenum Metal in concentrate t 3,8103,5324,9853,1671,7831,9611,431
Molybdenum Concentrate kt 8.27.4106.73.842.9
Gold Payable metal oz 94,92562,90159,67372,86091,439107,850129,724
Silver Payable metal oz 5,361,3263,293,3643,581,1854,092,8724,581,7145,483,7966,350,308
^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Ore tonnes mined 46,429,483 t43,178,984 t59,878,802 t57,999,845 t51,653,616 t57,439,971 t52,873,113 t46,910,080 t
Waste 122,908,814 t116,206,593 t135,003,377 t137,484,467 t128,286,976 t115,709,415 t
Tonnes milled 52,871,670 t44,043,203 t48,476,799 t45,184,395 t51,283,371 t49,443,867 t51,497,642 t46,502,808 t

Production Costs

C1 cash costs Copper USD 1.7 / lb ^ **   1.6 / lb **   1.53 / lb **   1.02 / lb **   1 / lb **   0.99 / lb **   1.18 / lb **   0.99 / lb **  
^ Guidance / Forecast.
** Net of By-Product.


Revenue M USD 3,417  2,087  2,965  2,079   2,013   2,579   2,937  
After-tax Income M USD 301  189.5  675.6  187.5   93.6  
EBIT M USD 596.7  456.2  1,315  500.8   540.7   699.7   1,151  
EBITDA M USD 1,397  1,122  2,047  1,196   1,237   1,341   1,741  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Ref. Date: April 30, 2017

HME TypeModelQuantity
Drill Atlas Copco 2
Drill Caterpillar 2
Drill P&H 4
Loader LeTourneau L2350
Shovel P&H 4100 2
Shovel Caterpillar 7495 2
Shovel Caterpillar 6060 3
Truck (haul) Komatsu 930E 44
Truck (haul) Caterpillar 797 6


Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
Operational Readiness Manager Eric Ruiz LinkedIn May 15, 2024
Operations Superintendent Abdon Guillen Medina LinkedIn May 15, 2024
Operations Superintendent Derly Sandy Vizcarra Arias LinkedIn May 15, 2024
Plant Manager Edgar Canta LinkedIn May 15, 2024
Project Superintendent Henry Rondon LinkedIn May 15, 2024

EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
2,578 5,695 8,273 2023
2,623 4,798 7,421 2022
2,672 2,995 5,667 2021
2,205 4,164 6,369 2020
1,792 3,999 5,791 2019
1,900 6,800 8,700 2018
1,726 6,568 8,294 2017
9,134 2016

Aerial view:


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