Chile
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Codelco pumping US$103mn into Potrerillos smelter

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Chile's state copper corporation Codelco invested US$67mn last year as part of a US$103mn project to expand and upgrade its Potrerillos smelter, the company said in its annual report released Monday. The goal is to increase processing capacity to 680,000t of concentrates from 520,000t, it said. The project is also aimed at ensuring the plant, in northern Chile's Region III, complies with environmental norms and meets decontamination targets. It includes replacing the reverberating furnace with a Teniente converter, technology developed by Codelco, and building new ancillary installations. Potrerillos is part of Codelco's Salvador division, the company's smallest, which last year produced 72,819t of copper, although the smelter also processes concentrates from other units. Codelco is the world's largest copper producer, and turned out 1.63Mt of the metal in 2002.

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