Rio Tinto, BHP copper project investment tops $2bn

Image: Resolution Copper Mining

Rio Tinto has committed a further $302 million in advancing its Resolution copper project in Arizona, United States, taking the project’s total investment to over $2 billion.

The project is well advancing to the final stage of its permitting phase, and when fully operational, has the potential to supply nearly 25 per cent of the United States copper demand.

It is anticipated to become North America’s number one copper producer, supplying a billion pounds of copper each year for 40 years.

Resolution Copper Mining is 55 per cent owned by Resolution Copper Company (a Rio Tinto subsidiary) and 45 per cent by BHP Copper (a BHP subsidiary), with funding proportional among the partners.

Rio Tinto’s latest investment in Resolution will fund the project’s additional drilling, orebody studies, infrastructure improvements and permitting activities.

“Resolution is one of the most significant undeveloped copper deposits in the world and this additional funding demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to bring the mine into production,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said.

“The comprehensive permitting process is well underway with the environmental impact study on track to be completed next year according to the regulators schedule.

“The rise of electric vehicles, battery storage, new transmission technology and other green energy innovations are highly copper intensive. We need to prepare now to meet this future demand.”

Resolution is in its seventh year of a comprehensive environmental review and approval process. The project will be well-positioned to provide North American manufacturers the copper that is essential to their products, according to Jacques.

Rio Tinto is advancing several copper projects nationally and internationally, such as the Winu project and Citadel joint venture exploration in the Paterson Province in Western Australia, and the Berenguela project in south-eastern Peru.

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