Chile’s mining industry is looking to build two copper projects in the second half of the year if the country’s COVID-19 infection rate decreases.
The two copper mining projects would cost about $2.7bn, Chile’s mining minister, Baldo Prokurica said during a webinar entitled “Copper: Opportunities for economic recovery and in the fight against the pandemic.”
The Rajo Inca project, which is part of the Salvador mine and will cost $1.2bn, and will be built by state-owned copper miner Codelco, will help increase the country’s annual copper output by 30pc 60,000mt to 93,000mt, Prokurica said, adding that if COVID-19 cases drop this week, the mining project will restart construction, which was suspended in March. The project will generate about 1,700 jobs.
The second facility is the Santo Domingo copper, iron, and gold project—70pc owned by a company called Capstone, with the remainder 30pc by Korea Resources Corporation—it will require a $1.5bn investment, Prokurica said. During the first five years of full operation, Santo Domingo will average 117,500mt of copper per annum, according to figures from Capstone.
Chile’s copper production increased by 2.6pc in April to 470,600mt from 458,600mt a year ago, according to the latest figures from the National Statistical Institute.