SEP to open Isla Riesco bids Jul 19

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Chile's public company system SEP, part of state development agency Corfo, will open bids for the Río Eduardo, Elena and Estancia Invierno coal deposits on July 19, SEP asset management executive Leonardo Valenzuela told BNamericas.

The concession areas on Isla Riesco - an island in Chile's extremely southern region XII - contain some 100Mt of coal reserves, Valenzuela previously said.

Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) holds a rental contract on the Estancia Invierno concession and is interested in bidding for that property and the other two, BNamericas previously reported.

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Switzerland-based Glencore International and local fuel conglomerate Ultramar-Copec Combustible have also shown interest in the concessions. Bids were accepted until May 15 for the properties.

Isla Riesco is Chile's most important coal source and contains more than 300Mt of low-carbon coal.