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The 5 new mining projects in Chile’s investment portfolio

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 09, 2021
The 5 new mining projects in Chile’s investment portfolio

Although Chile’s copper commission Cochilco downgraded the 2030 mining investment portfolio to US$68.9bn from US$74bn, it added five projects. 

The portfolio now comprises 51 projects, while investments of US$45bn are expected over the next five years. 

BNamericas provides an overview of the latest additions.

Negreiros

The US$1bn iodine project in Tarapacá region is controlled by medium-sized miner SCM Cosayach. It aims to increase the mining property to mine 1Mt of caliche every month and produce iodine concentrate during a 23-year lifespan.  

Work was planned to start in May, but the environmental evaluation, submitted early this year, remains categorized as not qualified because of missing information. Production is planned to start in 2023.

Negreiros was created in 1996. 

Pelambres Futuro I

The US$1bn project to guarantee the operational continuity of the Los Pelambres copper mine in Coquimbo region (pictured), was submitted to environmental authorities in April. But in October the environmental service requested clarifications, rectifications or expansions on the environmental impact study, according to BNamericas’ projects database.

Antofagasta Minerals must address the demands by March 2022. 

The project includes a new copper concentrate transportation system from the Piuquenes processing plant to Punta Chungo port, and the reinforcement of industrial water supply. 

Construction is expected to start in 2023 and finish in 2025. 

Pelambres Futuro II

The US$500mn project seeks to extend the mine life beyond 2035, but a date for the environmental submission has not been set. 

However, the project will allow the company to generate employment and contribute to the regional economy, according to Los Pelambres’ website.

Lomas Bayas

Located in Antofagasta region, the US$255mn copper project will extend the Lomas Bayas operation until 2034, considering annual production of 85,000t. 

Construction includes the expansion of open pits Lomas Bayas I and II, enabling a new heap leaching phase and the expansion of the waste dumps.

Work is planned to start in 2024, but the environmental evaluation, submitted last year, remains not qualified because of missing information on the baseline study and environmental matters.

Magnetita

The US$95mn project to extend the Magnetita processing plant’s life for 18 years was withdrawn one month after submitting the environmental evaluation, but Cochilco still considers the project possible. 

In September, Compañía Minera del Pacífico submitted a new evaluation.

The Magnetita plant in Antofagasta region already has permits to produce an average of 3.5Mt/y of magnetic iron concentrate from the tailings of Minera Candelaria and the pre-concentrate of iron from the mid-sized Los Colorados operation.

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