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Anglo American has announced the temporary withdrawal of the majority of employees and contractors from its Quellaveco copper project in Peru, following the Government of Peru’s announcement of a 15-day national quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Construction work on the project will therefore be significantly slowed, with only critical areas of the project continuing as normal, until such time as workers can return safely.

Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, says:

“The safety and health of everyone must come first, ever more so at times such as these. We are in the process of safely demobilising most of the 10,000 strong construction workforce at our Quellaveco copper project, in support of the Government of Peru’s measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

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“Our development of this world-class project has progressed ahead of schedule and within our budget and we would expect to be able to accommodate this slowdown within our market guidance on both timing and costs at this stage.”

The Quellaveco copper project is expected to begin production in 2022, with an expected capital cost of $5.0 to 5.3 billion.

During the first ten years of full production, Quellaveco is expected to produce approximately 300,000 tpa at a cash cost of $1.05 per pound of copper.