Argentina and Chile

Spotlight: Barrick's and Lundin's Chilean and Argentine assets

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Spotlight: Barrick's and Lundin's Chilean and Argentine assets

Canadian miners Lundin Mining and Barrick Gold are advancing their Candelaria and Josemaría and Zaldívar and Veladero assets in Chile and Argentina, weathering rising costs, high inflation and global supply chain disruptions.

In Chile, a royalty bill might prove challenging this year. “Before the social outbreak [in 2019] the mining sector was stable, but then the [bill] appeared with more force and the will to change the system so that the State collects more from mining,” Control Risks analyst Leandro Lima told BNamericas.

And in Argentina, “the wetland law and requests for greater environmental protection will continue to be present in public debates around mining projects in 2023,” said Marina Pera, a mining specialist at the same consultancy.

BNamericas provides an overview of the four assets' 2022 results and plans for this year.


Owned by Lundin (80%) and Japan's Sumitomo, Candelaria, in Chile's Atacama region, produced 152,040t of copper and 86,000oz of gold.

For this year, Lundin aims at 145,000t-155,000t and 85,000oz-90,000oz, subject to operational optimization demanding US$400mn.

Lundin will carry out open pit works, improve mill performance and better manage mining waste. Drilling optimization, acquisition of mobile mining equipment and exploration are also on the agenda.

The Candelaria optimization and operational continuity project focuses on compensating for ore depletion and a useful life extension until 2040. The project has been under evaluation since 2020. The environmental evaluation service gave Lundin until June to clarify doubts about air quality, noise, and others.


Lundin will invest US$400mn this year to accelerate pre-construction, involving engineering, equipment acquisition and infrastructure for the project in Argentina’s San Juan province.

The project does not yet produce. Lundin will present a new technical report in the second half.


Also in San Juan, Veladero produced 195,000oz last year. Barrick pursued expansion and optimization operations and improved leaching processes in 4Q22 and brought a transmission line online that supplies renewable energy from Chile.

The project is 50%-owned by China’s Shandong Gold.


A 50:50 operation with Antofagasta Plc, the mine in Chile’s Antofagasta region, produced 98Mlb (44,452t) of copper in 2022. Barrick will provide more details on February 15.

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