Collahuasi, a Chile-based copper mining firm owned by Glencore and Anglo American, is holding discussions with Canada-based Teck Resources on a resource-sharing plan as part of the firms’ expansion plans.
Reuters reported Collahuasi CEO Jorge Gomez as saying that the firm is eyeing ‘synergies’ with firms that have operations close to its own mine in the Tarapaca area in Chile, and that Teck is a key company with which it is looking to work with.
The resource-sharing plan includes pipe and power lines and maritime facilities, as well as desalinated water supplies as Tarapaca suffers from severe water shortages.
At an event in Santiago, Gómez told reporters: “We have many things in common that we have been talking about over time and which is helping both them and us in terms of construction and future developments.”
“It does not make much sense that two companies so close together should double-up on these things.”
Collahuasi is looking at building an aqueduct to transport desalinated water left over from operations at Teck’s Quebrada Blanca to its own mine.
He added: “Eventually, they will have a surplus which we can use.”
According to the state copper agency Cochilco, production of red metal is expected to grow more than six million tonnes for the first time this year and growth will reach 30% over the next ten years.
Copper production could reach a record-breaking 7.25 million tonnes annually by 2025, primarily due to several new projects and mine expansions amid declining ore grades at older mines.
Existing and ageing mines will see a 19% annual decline in production to 4.46 million tonnes. However, this decline will be negated by new projects and planned expansions.
In December 2018, Teck partnered with Japanese Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo to increase annual production at its ageing Quebrada Blanca copper mine from 23,400t in 2017 to to 300,000t.