CORRECTED-OFFICIAL-UPDATE 1-Southern Copper sees output at 800,000 tonnes in 2015

Tue May 20, 2014 6:47pm EDT

(Company corrects headline and paragraph 1 to 2015 instead of 2014, paragraph 7 deleted for references to wrong time period; corrects paragraph 6 to show 670,000 tonnes likely in 2014, not 2013, adds 2013 production figure)

LIMA May 20 (Reuters) - Southern Copper Corp expects its output of the red metal to reach 800,000 tonnes in 2015 as a new leach plant in Mexico boosts capacity, the company's executive president, Oscar Gonzalez, said on Tuesday.

Gonzalez added that construction of the company's $1 billion Tia Maria copper mine in southern Peru will likely begin in the second half of 2014 after the government approves a key permit.

The global miner responded to the government's observations on its environmental impact study for Tia Maria on Monday and the government review is due within 30 days, Gonzalez said.

Peru's energy and mines ministry has said that it will probably give the project the green light in the second quarter.

Southern Copper has said it expects Tia Maria to produce 120,000 tonnes of copper per year.

The company said it will likely produce 670,000 tonnes of copper this year, up from 637,000 tonnes produced in 2013.

Southern Copper is one of the world's biggest copper producers, with mines in Peru and Mexico. It is controlled by Grupo Mexico.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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