World mine production is estimated to have dropped, driven by a decline in Chile as a result of the strike at BHP's Escondida and weaker output at state producer Codelco.
The US$2.5bn project has faced fierce opposition from environmental groups since it was submitted for approval in September 2013.
Chinalco's 2022 strategic plan includes autonomous trucks, automated CCTV and remote control of drills.
Peruvian miners are drilling again at properties across the country's Andean spine as surging metals prices provides an incentive.
The latest news from junior mining companies operating across Latin America.
South America figures are for Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, which are the region's only producers of primary aluminum.
The US$460mn project was submitted in December last year.