Global miner BHP is scaling back its operations at Cerro Colorado, in Chile, with resizing measures to be implemented over the next four months.
These measures will result in a reduced headcount and the company has started discussions with employees and contractors.
The adjusted mine plan will be in place for the remainder of the copper mine’s current environmental licence, which expires at the end of 2023.
Cerro Colorado will continue to explore development options that could allow mining operations to continue beyond the end of 2023, BHP said in a July 2 statement. This includes the preparation of new environmental studies required to apply for new permits.
Any continuation of production beyond 2023 would be performed using seawater as a replacement for freshwater usage, the company noted.
BHP in 2018 tried to sell Cerro Colorado for $230-million in cash, but the transaction fell through after would-be buyer EMR Capital Advisors failed to meet a financing deadline.
Cerro Colorado is BHP’s smallest copper mine in Chile and produced 51 883 t in the nine-months ended March 2020.