Codelco to invest over US$4 billion in 2012 as Anglo American hurries to resolve conflict

Chile's state copper giant Codelco plans to invest over US$4 billions next year to speed up the development and construction work at several new mining projects, including Ministro Hales Mine (former Mansa) in the North of the country and the expansion of El Teniente, in the South, publishes Chilean newspaper La Tercera.

According to the local daily, Codelco’s finance vice-president, Thomas Keller, said that the investment portfolio, submitted to the Government for approval last week, is one of the highest in the company’s history:

"[Codelco] will need more funds in 2012, as we are already building at Minister Hales mine and our goal is to start operations by the end of 2013," he said.

Keller also foresees significant progress on two new projects: the expansion of Radomiro Tomic and El Salvador, projects that should be finished by late 2017 or early 2018. Both initiatives are now in pre-feasibility stage.

Meanwhile, global miner Anglo American's CEO Cynthia Carroll is allegedly under pressure to resolve the ongoing dispute with Codelco as soon as possible or shareholders will demand changes at the top, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

As reported, Codelco lodged last week a so-called pre-judicial preparatory measure in the 17th Civil Court of Santiago, seeking details of Mitsubishi’s purchase of a 24.5 percent stake announced on Nov. 9. The measure aims to annul the $5.39 billion deal between Anglo and Mitsubishi.

(Photo Ministro Hales Mine, courtesy of Codelco)