NuevaUnión (Relincho) (Cu & Mo)

Candida Hayden Relincho

Location: Chile, South America
Operator: Teck Resources Limited / Newmont Corporation
Royalty: NSR: 1.5%

Franco-Nevada has a 1.5% NSR royalty covering the Relincho property that is part of the NuevaUnión project being advanced by 50/50 joint venture partners, Teck and Newmont Corporation (“Newmont”). The NuevaUnión project was formed in 2015 combining Teck’s Relincho project with Newmont’s La Fortuna (formerly El Morro) deposit, located approximately 40 km apart in the Atacama region of Chile. Franco-Nevada’s 1.5% NSR is subject to a maximum price of $6.00/lb copper and threshold price of $1.50/lb copper, inflation adjusted. No royalty is paid if the average price for the quarter is less than the threshold price and royalty payments commence four years after commercial production. Franco-Nevada acquired the royalty through its acquisition of Lumina Royalty Corp. in December 2011.

NuevaUnión is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold-molybdenum projects in the Americas. A prefeasibility study was completed in the first quarter of 2018 which incorporated key design changes to improve project economics and respond to local community and ESG input versus the prior preliminary economic assessment. The prefeasibility study assumed an increased mine life from 32 to 36 years which did not include 205 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources contained within the current pit designs.

The three phase development approach assumed life of mine average production of 251,000 tonnes of copper equivalent production based on $10 per pound molybdenum and $1,300 per ounce gold. By combining the two projects, significant infrastructure reductions were released, thus decreasing initial capital, including utilizing a single desalination plant, port, transmission line, concentrator and a common tailings facility. The Relincho and La Fortuna deposits will be bulk open-pit mining operations that will be developed in three production phases. Phase 1 (Years 1 - 3) sees mining and processing facilities at the Relincho site assuming processing of 104,000 tonnes per day (“tpd”). In Phase 2 (Years 4 - 18), mining activities transfer to the La Fortuna site utilizing an ore conveyance system to transport ore to the processing facilities at Relincho (116,000 tpd in Phase 2). Phase 3 (Years 19 - 36) sees mining activities transfer back to Relincho with an expansion to the processing facilities increasing processing to 208,000 tpd.

The joint venture is now focused on advancing a feasibility study, which commenced in the third quarter of 2018. A total of $152 million was planned, starting in 2020, to accelerate exploration and development of the deposits over the next several years. In 2020, limited work focused on a review of study results and an assessment of optimization opportunities, with assessments continuing in 2021.


  • Joint Venture between Teck and Newmont to combine Relincho and La Fortuna into one development project
  • Project synergies estimated to significantly reduce capital expenditure

2020 2019 2018
Revenue to Franco-Nevada ($ million) $ – $ - $ -