Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation, or Vinacomin, said Thursday that its Sin Quyen mine in the northern province of Lao Cai has estimated resources of 106 million mt of copper ore, compared with an earlier estimate of 56 million mt.
The mine, which is operated by Vinacomin subsidiary Sin Quyen Copper Company, is currently producing 1.2 million mt/year of copper ore. The state-owned company said it is awaiting government approval to raise output at the mine to 3 million mt/year.
It is also seeking approval to extend the mine life to 40-50 years, from the previously approved 20-30 years. The mine started production in 2006.
The ore at the mine, which has average copper content of 1.03%, is initially processed at the mine before it is transported to Vinacomin’s Lao Cai copper refinery.
The 10,000 mt/year refinery, which is 50 kilometers far from the mine, plans to produce about 9,000 mt of copper this year, up 12.5 percent from 2011. The quality of the copper is over 99 percent of Cu, according to Vinacomin data.
All of the copper from the Lao Cai copper refinery is supplied to domestic market.