Mining exploration investments in Chile fell by 30pc to $458mn in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 234 exploration projects are currently being developed by 101 mining companies in Chile, of which 45pc of the projects are active, 31pc are on stand by, and 24pc were discarded during the year, according to a document released by the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco).
More than half of the projects under development are for copper mining while 3pc are for iron ore mining projects, according to Cochilco.
Globally mining exploration investments fell by 10pc to $8.3bn in 2020, from $9.2bn in 2019 due to the pandemic and the trade war between the US and China. Of the total amount invested globally in exploration, about 25pc was invested in Latin America in countries such as Chile, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, and Colombia, Cochilco noted.
Chile’s copper production rose by 0.3pc to 4.74mn mt on an annual basis between the January-October period. Chile’s copper production is expected to rise by 0.6pc to 5.8mn mt this year. Copper prices reached $3.55/lb on Dec 21, down by 1.58pc compared to the prior day, according to Cochilco data.