Chile plans global leadership
by Metal Markets
The Government of Chile’s Copper Commission (Cochilco) has reported that it expects the country to become the global leader in the development of new copper mines.
Chile is already the world’s largest producer of copper and Cochilco chief analyst, ldo Picozzi, is predicting that the country will host 26 new copper developments between 2006 and 2015.
The new mines should add 2.37 million tonnes of output, or nearly 20% of global production.
Fourteen of the new mines will produce copper cathodes from SX/EW operations, and 12 will produce copper in concentrates.
Chile currently produces around 35% of global copper and the country is becoming a leader in the development of brownfield projects.
These are projects where miners are using new technology to return to a deposit and mine mineral that had previously been considered too low-grade.
Last week Anglo American announced that it will spend $1.74 billion to expand its Los Bronces mine in Chile and create one of the world’s largest copper mines.
The company’s Base Metals division has reported that much of its future expansion will come from the country.
Anglo American will also be undertaking new projects in Peru, which expects to host 19 new projects between 2006 and 2015.
Outside South America, Canada is forecasting 18 new copper projects, Australia 14 and the Democratic Republic of Congo 12 projects, during the nine year period.
In terms of ore grades, Africa will remain the world leader, with percentages rising to near 1.84%, compared with a 1980 figure of 1.41%.
Chilean ore grades are at 0.74% and ore grades worldwide will average at around 0.70% between 2006 and 2015, as compared with 0.87% in 1980.