As the biggest overseas project invested by East China’s Anhui province, the Mirador copper mine in Ecuador went into operation on Thursday.
The project was jointly launched by China Railway Construction Corp and Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. The latter, based in Tongling, Anhui province, accounts for 70 percent of the total investment.
The first phase of the project, worth $1.89 billion, is expected to handle 20 million tonnes of copper ore on a yearly basis and have an annual capacity of 354,000 tonnes of concentrates and 96,000 tonnes of copper metal.
The construction has been fraught with difficulty as the copper mine, located in the tropical rain forest area, is hit by rain all the year round. Worse still, the construction site features steep mountains and volatile geological conditions.
Since the construction kicked off in December 2015, workers involved have overcome all the difficulties and strived to push the project into production. As of July, up to $1.15 billion have been injected.
Carlos Perez, minister of energy and non-renewable resources in Ecuador, said the Mirador copper project is a national strategic project of Ecuador and has drawn public attention since it was initiated.
The project will create over 2,400 jobs and benefit more than 10,000 people. It is expected to become a landmark project for implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, according to an official with Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. (By Zheng Weiling)