Codelco’s Andina division has signed a water deal with Anglo American after severe drought conditions in central Chile affected copper production at the latter’s Los Bronces mine, according to media reports.
Copper output at the mine decreased to 71,700mt during Q4 2019, down 28pc from 99,000mt in Q4 2018. During the calendar year 2019, copper production at Los Bronces totaled 335,000mt, down 9pc from the 369,500mt produced in all of 2018.
Last week, Anglo American said its Q4 2019 copper production across all mines declined by 13pc to 158,800mt from 183,500 during same prior year quarter. The company attributed the 27,300mt fourth quarter shortfall at Los Bronces due to continued drought conditions in Central Chile as the reason.
The agreement between the two companies stipulates clean water will be transported from Andina’s Ovejería tailings pond to Las Tórtolas, the Los Bronces tailing facility.
In September 2019, Chile’s government announced the creation of a working group of government agencies, academics, and industry members to combat the worst drought the country has seen in 60 years. The government declared water shortages in more than 50 communities across three regions of the country in 2019.