Codelco plans $4bn investment to extend life of old mines

28 April 2015 (Last Updated April 28th, 2015 18:30)

Chile's state-owned copper mining company Codelco has announced plans to extend the life of its oldest mines with a $4bn investment this year.

Chuquicamata

Chile's state-owned copper mining company Codelco has announced plans to extend the life of its oldest mines with a $4bn investment this year.

Codelco CEO Nelson Pizarro told Platts that the investment will also used to bring the mines into line with stringent environmental standards.

The Chilean company plans to spend about $1.2bn on its structural projects, which include deepening its underground El Teniente copper mine and transforming the Chuquicamata pit into an underground operation.

The El Teniente mine is undergoing a structural project since 2011, which aims to expands the mine deeper into the hill at 1,880m above sea level.

The open pit copper mine Chuquicamata is located in the north of Chile, outside of Calama at 9,350ft above sea level, 215km north-east of Antofagasta and 1,240km north of Santiago.

"The company will deploy the technology to inspect equipment prior to scheduled maintenance."

The company will also maintain existing mines with the same amount, and approximately $790m will be used to comply with new environmental rules introduced by Chile.

Codelco will get a portion of the funds from cash injections by the Chilean Government, which plans to invest in the company $1bn a year over the next four years.

Furthermore, the company, which plans to get more funds by raising debt, will take a call whether to construct a new mine named Inca Rajo in 2016.

The mining company recently announced plans to use robotic machinery in a bid to monitor its equipment and improve safety standards at its Gabriela Mistral project.

According to Noticias de Mineracao, the company will deploy the technology to inspect equipment prior to scheduled maintenance.


Image: The open pit copper mine Chuquicamata is located in the north of Chile. Photo: courtesy of selbst fotografiert via Wikipedia.