The Chilean mining industry will invest $105bn in mining projects across the country over the next decade from this year to 2023, according to the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco).
Of the total investments, $81bn will go towards the copper industry while $23bn will be allocated for gold, silver, iron ore and other industrial minerals projects.
The investment also includes $28bn to be spent by Codelco, the state-owned copper mining company, to contribute to the expansion of one of its project and on new mines.
In addition, 14 firms are planning to invest on medium and large-scale mining projects in the country and around $8.9bn is expected to be spent on nine new mining projects, which includes seven copper projects; however, the total investment is 7.5% less than last year’s estimate of $113bn.
Many of the projects have commenced operations, including Codelco’s Ministro Hales, Lumina Copper Chile’s Caserones and KGHM International’s Sierra Gorda mines.
Cochilco executive vice-president Sergio Hernández was quoted by BUSINESS NEWS AMERICAS as saying: "Certain projects are currently facing delays.
"There are no trust issues here; mining investors are confident. No project has fallen through."
There are 53 projects proposed for investment, among them 17 are being developed with funds of $23.4bn, 15 project worth $25.8bn are at the feasibility stage, six projects worth $6.29bn have been classified, and 15 projects worth $49.3bn are at the pre-feasibility stage.
If all of the projects are completed, Cochilco expects the country’s copper production will exceed six million tonnes (Mt) by 2015 and 8Mt by 2025, rising from last year’s production of 5.7Mt.
Meanwhile, the production of gold is expected to increase by 191% to 149,480kg a year, molybdenum by 175% to 106,452t a year and iron ore by 183% to 48Mt a year in 2025.