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Peru's Buenaventura says San Gabriel gold-silver project to produce by 2024

Kitco News

LIMA, May 11 (Reuters) - Buenaventura , one of Peru's largest precious metals miners, will speed up construction of its San Gabriel gold and silver project, with a production start date no later than 2024, the company's president said. The miner recently announced the start of construction of the San Gabriel mine, located in the southern Peruvian region of Moquegua.

It aims to reach annual output of between 120,000 and 150,000 ounces of gold in three or four years. Buenaventura President Roque Benavides said that after the sale of the company's stake in the Yanacocha gold mine to U.S. firm Newmont Mining , its priority is to increase production and optimize current operations.

"San Gabriel is the first thing, we are investing a significant amount this year and hope to start production around 2023 or 2024," Benavides told Reuters late on Tuesday during a mining business forum in Lima. He said he expects investment in San Gabriel to reach $100 million this year, with a total $400 million to $500 million planned. Benavides added that the Trapiche copper project, which is located in the Apurimac region in Peru's Andes, will be developed later.

The project includes an investment of $970 million, according to Peru's Energy and Mines Ministry. Buenaventura operates six mining developments in Peru, including the Orcopampa, Tambomayo and Coimolache gold mines and the Uchucchacua and Julcani silver mines. It also holds a 19.58% stake in the Cerro Verde copper mine , which is controlled by Freeport-McMoRan Corp .

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Paul Simao)

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