Zaldívar is located in the Andean Precordillera in Region II of northern Chile, approximately 1,400 kilometers north of Santiago and 175 kilometers southeast of the port city of Antofagasta. The mine lies at an average elevation of 3,000 meters.
Zaldívar is an open-pit, heap-leach copper mine. Pure cathode copper is produced by three stages of crushing and stacking, followed by heap leaching and bacterial activity to remove the copper from the ore. Run-of-mine dump leach material is placed on the old sulphide ore pad and leached.
Zaldívar produced 222 million pounds of copper in 2014 at C1 cash costs of $1.79 per pound1 and C3 fully allocated costs of $1.94 per pound1. Proven and probable copper reserves as at December 31, 2014, were 5.558 billion pounds2.
Copper production in 2015 is expected to be 240-260 million pounds at C1 cash costs of $1.65-$1.95 per pound and C3 fully allocated costs of $2.00-$2.30 per pound.