Construction of new copper projects in Chile and the increase in the copper output on a yearly basis is expected to increase demand from the energy sector by 34pc between 2021-2031, according to the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco).
Cochilco noted that energy consumption for copper mining will grow from 25TWh to 33.4 TWh in the next ten years, in a document titled “Electricity consumption in copper mining 2020-2031”. Moreover, in 2023 about 63pc of the energy used to produce copper in Chile will come from green sources, Cochilco said, adding that the use of electricity in the copper mining industry currently represents 8pc of its operative costs. With this in mind, Chile will have to expand its power capacity of 129MW to 1.222MW in 2031.
The copper projects that will be developed in the next ten years are expected to consume 8pc of the country’s power. Highlights among these projects are Sierra Gorda Concentrados, Esperanza Sur, Encuentro Sulfuros, Centinela, Quebrada Blanca 2, Hipógeno, Spence Growth Option and Santo Domingo.
Chile’s copper production fell by 2.1pc to 493,538mt in November 2020 from 504,349mt produced in the same month last year, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (Inei).