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Chile power crisis a real concern: MacKenzie

Keywords: Tags  Anglo American, John MacKenzie, copper, Cesco Week, Andrea Hotter

SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile has taken the first steps to resolve the energy crisis facing the mineral-rich country, but the solutions aren’t easy, Anglo American Plc copper division chief executive officer John MacKenzie said.

The country’s booming mining industry needs power for its vast copper mines, but delays in securing permits—largely as a result of environmental and social opposition to proposed energy projects—have led to frustration among many industry participants.

The three issues related to energy that are of concern in Chile are power generation, transmission and cost, MacKenzie said.

"While Anglo has long-term contracts for energy supply at each of our operations, when one starts talking about the next wave of growth, and not just us but other companies as well, we need to have confidence in those factors: that energy generation will be there, there will be effective transmission and it’s going to be competitively priced," he told AMM on the sidelines of the Center for Mining and Copper Studies’ annual Cesco Week in Santiago.

"Those factors all come into our thinking when one is analyzing new projects. ... The industry needs certainty in that regard to make the massive investments that we do," he added.

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