Zaldívar is a 50/50 joint venture operation with Antofagasta Plc, overseen by a joint Board of Directors with three Barrick nominees and three Antofagasta nominees. Antofagasta is the operator of the mine.
The mine 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. An open-pit, heap-leach copper mine, it lies at an average elevation of 3,000 meters. 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 218 million pounds1 of copper in 2015, at a cost of sales of $424 million, and all-in sustaining costs of $2.11 per pound.2 Barrick's share of proven and probable reserves as of December 31, 2015, was 2.8 billion pounds3 of copper (227.7 million tonnes, grading 0.55%).
In 2016, Barrick's share of copper production is expected to be 100-120 million pounds, at a cost of sales of $1.95-$2.15 per pound, and all-in sustaining costs of $2.10-$2.30 per pound.2