Canada injects $300m in Chile’s copper giant Codelco

Canada injects $3m in Chile’s copper giant Codelco

Among major plans to upgrade its aging mines, Codelco plans to expand the world's largest underground copper mine, El Teniente ("The Lieutenant").

Export Development Canada (EDC) said Wednesday it has granted a US$300 million loan to Chile’s owned copper producer Codelco to help it with a much needed massive investment program aimed to guarantee the firm’s status as the world’s biggest copper producer.

As part of the agreement, the Chilean miner will procure goods and services from Canadian companies down the road, particularly small-to-medium sized enterprises.

“Such loans have been very productive in the past, especially with Codelco, where they have helped promote Cdn$888 million worth of purchases from more than 150 Canadian companies in the last five years,” a spokesman for EDC told MINING.om.

Jean Cardyn, EDC's Regional Vice-President in South America said in a statement that the Canadian trade finance agency has identified Chile as a market that holds tremendous promise and potential for growth.

Late last month President Michelle Bachelet enacted a special law to spur the company’s output, which grants Codelco an extra injection of S$4 billion between 2014 and 2018.

The Santiago-based company, struggling with aging mines and depressed copper prices, is also planning to sell about $8 billion of bonds over the next five years to help finance a nearly $30bn investment program and so maintain its status as the world’s biggest copper producer.

It is estimated that Codelco holds about 9% of the world's known proven and probable reserves and roughly 11% of the global annual copper output with 1.8 million metric tons of production.

Image courtesy of Codelco.