The Peruvian port of Matarani is on course to handle 10% of the global production of copper. By 2017, around 1mt (million tonnes) of copper, equivalent to half of Peru’s total production, will be exported by the port. This will come about because of the opening of Las Bambas mines and the extension of Cerro Verde, which will generate 400,000 tonnes and 272,000 tonnes of copper respectively.

According to the Luis Rivera, who is the VP of operations at Las Bambas, Matarani will be able to handle the additional traffic thanks to a $200 million investment in the new ‘F’ berth. This is being built as a partnership between MMG (Las Bambas), Freeport (Cerro Verde), Glencore (Antapaccay) and Matarani port operator Tisur. Rivera adds that exports will be in the form of concentrates generated by the various operators and new ones that could potentially emerge from the south of the country in the future.

The new berth will be able to receive Supramax vessels, which can handle up to 55,000 tonnes. There will also be a new rail discharge facility and an ore storage shed that will be used exclusively by Las Bambas.

Berth ‘F’ has been engineered to handle around 10% of the global production of copper, which in 2014 amounted to 18mt.

As for the expansion of Cerro Verde, this is due to go-ahead at the end of this year, while Las Bambas will expand its own operations in the first quarter of next year.