Chile’s state-owned company, Codelco, has sold its stake in a Chilean electricity company for $1bn, to expand its copper production.

The company sold 424 million shares in E-CL SA, which supplies power to a mining region in northern Chile, at CLP1200 ($2.48) a share, according to Bloomberg.

Codelco is planning to spend $16.5bn on its mines to increase its production in the next five years.

Company vice-president of finance and administration Thomas Keller told reporters that the company has completed the financing programme for this year.

“We could return to debt markets by the end of the year but that will obviously depend on market conditions,” Keller said.