Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a loan with Mitsubishi Corporation for additional development of a copper mine in Peru. The loan is co-financed with MUFG Bank providing US$21 million alongside JBIC's US$30 million.
The loan is intended to provide part of the funds that Mitsubishi will use to introduce a coarse particle flotation process, which enables copper recovery from coarse copper ores, to the Quellaveco Copper Mine Development Project undertaken by Anglo American Quellaveco (AAQ), a Peruvian affiliate of Mitsubishi.
Mitsubishi owns a 40% interest in the Quellaveco Copper Mine, and will offtake the equivalent proportion of the mine's products such as copper concentrates, which Mitsubishi plans to supply to buyers including Japanese smelters.
Copper is used extensively for various products, including electric cables, electrical and electronic equipment, vehicles, construction materials, rechargeable batteries, and semiconductors, and is an essential metal for Japanese industry.
In view of the global trend towards decarbonization, JBIC says, the demand for copper is expected to continue to rise globally as sales of electric vehicles and renewable energy equipment increase. Since Japan relies solely on imports for copper concentrates, it is an urgent challenge to secure a long-term, stable supply of copper resources.
In the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan approved by the Cabinet Office in October 2021, the Japanese government emphasizes the importance of securing a stable supply of base metals including copper. The loan supports the development of the copper mine in which a Japanese company holds interests, and therefore it is in line with the Japanese government's policy.