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A Teck Resources mine in Chile

Teck Resources Ltd. , Canada's largest publicly traded miner, says a major expansion at the Antamina mine in Peru announced Tuesday, will increase production of copper and zinc by nearly a third.

The Vancouver-based company said that when the project is completed in 2011, the amount of metal ore processed will increase 38 per cent to 130,000 tonnes a day, and annual production of copper and zinc will increase around 30 per cent.

Teck owns a 22.5-per-cent interest in Compania Minera Antamina, the Peruvian joint venture which operates the open pit mine and is owned by some of the world's biggest mining companies.

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Compania Minera will invest $1.3-billion (U.S.) to expand its mining and processing operations, which will be funded from its cash flow and borrowings.

Teck said it expects its share of Compania Minera distributions to be reduced by no more than $100-million, as construction progresses during 2010 and 2011.

Teck's share of operating profit after depreciation from Antamina for the year ended Sept. 30 was $231-million (Canadian).

Ore reserves at Antamina were increased by approximately 75 per cent in 2008 and the mine life is now expected to continue until 2029.

Located in the Andes mountain range, 270 kilometres north of Lima Peru, Antamina is one of the world's largest copper-zinc mines. It is an open-pit operation with about 1,400 employees.

The project is operated as a joint venture company, which is owned by Teck, mining giants Xstrata (33.75 and Mitsubishi Corp. (10 per cent).

Xstrata acquired its stake through its acquisition of former Canadian nickel miner Falconbridge in August, 2006.

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Teck is one of Canada's top mining companies, with operations in Canada, the United States and other parts of the world, producing coal, copper, zinc and other primary metals.

Shares in Teck jumped over 2 per cent or 93 cents, to $39.94 with around 2.3 million changing hands during trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange Tuesday.

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