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BHP Billiton's (NYSE: BHP) US$467mn continuity plan for its Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile's northern Tarapacá region (Region I) will leave water consumption untouched until 2023, when the mine will cease operations.
"The plan doesn't entail expanding the underground resource mining rate, nor considers any other alternative water supply... through 2023," the environmental impact study reads.
The mine holds the rights to use up to 150l/s of water from underground resources whose wells are located in Pampa Lagunillas. Water use reached 138.72l/s in 2012.
The company's Pampa Norte division, which includes the wholly owned Cerro Colorado and Spence copper mines, saw output slip 11.8% to 232,600t in the 12 months ending June.