Mining company Ecuacorriente (Ecsa), controlled by China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and Tongling Nonferrous Metals group, plans to invest US$100mn in transport infrastructure as part of the first phase of its Mirador mining project, the firm's senior VP and manager, Ian Harris, told BNamericas.
Ecsa will build a specialized mineral facility known as Puerto Cobre near Bolivar port, located in the southernmost coastal province of El Oro. The facility, which will handle an estimated 20 trucks each day, will be equipped with a conveyor belt to load copper concentrate onto ships.
The port project also includes the improvement of about 20 bridges, repairs and improvements on some 400km of roads, a new bridge, and installation of transmission lines, Harris said.
Ecsa has already purchased land and obtained the environmental permits to carry out the project, and is now in talks with Bolivar port authority APPB to determine how the port will operate. Ecsa will most likely operate the specialized port, as it does not aim to compete with Bolivar, according to the executive.
Construction is expected to begin in May next year so the port is ready to receive copper concentrate from the Mirador copper-gold project, which is slated to begin operating in 4Q12. The port will also serve Ecsa's Panantza and San Carlos projects.
Ecuacorriente will invest US$641mn in Mirador's first phase. Construction is due to begin in January and conclude in November 2012, when the second phase of the project will begin.