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Five projects that will boost Chile's mining investment

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Five projects that will boost Chile's mining investment

More than US$72bn will be invested in the Chilean mining industry during the next nine years, according to a sneak peek of a forecast from Chile’s state copper commission Cochilco

Cochilco’s investment portfolio for 2018-27 comprises 44 projects requiring US$65.7bn, but the updated forecast will see the figure rise 10.3% given the addition of five new projects and the culmination or discarding of another five. 

The full report will be published in October, Cochilco VP Jorge Cantallopts told to BNamericas, with details of the projects and investment amounts. The five new projects are: 

 1.- Los Bronces (Metropolitan and Valparaíso regions)

Property of Anglo American, the project involves investment of US$3bn to extend the mine life until 2036. It will iinclude a water recirculation process and will not increase processing plant capacity. 

2.- Collahuasi (Tarapacá region)

Operated by Anglo American and Glencore, the project will need US$3.2bn to extend the mine life to 2040. Once finished, Collahuasi will produce at a rate of 210,000t/d. Earlier this year, the two companies submitted the environmental impact assessment and started the indigenous consultation process.  

3.- Proyecto Blanco (Atacama region) 

Owned by Minera Salar Blanco, this lithium project located within the Salar de Atacama is valued at US$527mn and will produce 20,000t/y of lithium carbonate and 58,000t/y of potassium chloride. 

The company has identified 2.15Mt of lithium carbonate at a depth of up to 200m of the salar's 600m total. A month ago, Minera Salar Blanco and state copper miner Codelco signed an agreement to negotiate a JV to develop the project. 

4.- Nueva Victoria (Tarapacá region)

In 2018, SQM presented the environmental assessment for its US$350mn Nueva Victoria iodide and iodine project, which seeks to expand the mine site by 43,586ha and the caliche extraction rate from 28Mt/y to 65Mt/y. The project also includes two new iodide production plants of 6,000t/y each and one iodine production plant of 12,000t/y.

5.- El Peñón (Antofagasta region)

With a US$132mn investment, Canada's Yamana Gold seeks to expand the underground operation. Last week the environmental evaluation service approved the environmental impact assessment and gave the green light to the gold-silver project. 

Picture credit: Minera Collahuasi

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