Chile sees $105bn mining investment in next decade

Chile sees $105bn mining investment in next decade

Chile's mining minister Aurora Williams. (Image courtesy Chile's government)

Mining investment in Chile, the world's top copper producer, is seen at around $105 billion from this year through to 2025, minister Aurora Williams said Thursday.

Speaking at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne, Australia, the mining official added the sector would always be the pillar of the Chilean economy.

Of the total investment, $81 billion are set to go towards the copper industry, while $23 billion will be used for gold, silver, iron ore another industrial mineral projects, she told EFE (in Spanish).

The massive figure includes a recently announced $23.5 billion in allocated funds for Codelco, the state-owned copper mining company, to revamp century-old mines that are running out of profitable ore. The government has also promised to sell $4 billion of bonds for additional funding for new mines and the expansion of one of its major projects.

The minister said once current projects are completed, the country’s copper production would exceed 6 million tons by 2015 and 8 million tons by 2025. Gold production is expected to rise as well, increasing by 191% to 149,480kg a year.

Chile sees $105bn mining investment in next decade

Panoramic of Codelco's new 160,000 tonnes-plus Ministro Hales mine.

Chile still produces about a third of the global supply of the base metal, used in construction, and according to Williams no other country is likely to be able to catch up soon.