SÃO PAULO Chile is
expected to receive about $104 billion in mining project
investment over the next 10 years, of which about $80 billion
will go toward copper projects, the Chilean Copper Commission
The new projects will lift
annual copper output capacity by about 50 percent to 8.4
million tonnes per year.
As new projects are developed,
energy demand will increase. Chiles energy needs for the
mining sector are expected to rise by 68 percent over the next
"The main problem is the cost
that companies will have to bear for thermic electricity
generation, a scenario in which Chile is affected by
international prices for fuels, as they are mainly imported,"
Cochilco director of studies María Cristina Betancour
told AMM sister publication Metal
"I dont believe Chile will
be without energy for its projects, but the costs for obtaining
it will certainly rise," René Muga, general manager of
Chiles energy producers association, said.
Other problems relate to the
scarcity of water for mining in the northern part of the
country, where large projects such as Corporacion Nacional del
Cobre de Chiles (Codelcos) Chuquicamata and BHP
Billiton Plcs Escondida are located.
"Besides sea water, which is
already used in some projects, other methods of water supply
are being evaluated," including transporting water from
Chiles south-central zone to the north, where resources
are scarce, Betancour said.
A version of
this article was first published by AMM sister publication