Mining investments in Chile to reach $64 billion by 2025 — report

Mining investments in Chile to reach $64 billion by 2025 — report

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

Chile’s mining investments is expected to reach about $64 billion over the next ten years, consolidating its position as Latin America’s most attractive destination for miners, according to the state copper commission (Cochilco).

Speaking at an industry event Thursday, the head of the association, Alex Matute Johns, noted that Chile’s portfolio of planned mining investments is the largest in the region, with state-owned copper giant Codelco expected to carry out 47% of them.

According to Portal Minero (in Spanish) Matute Johns added that Chile’s copper output is expected to jump up to around 8 million tonnes per year by 2025.

Foreign direct investment is also predicted to soar, from the $23 billion attracted last year to about $28 billion by 2017.

The industry, however, is facing some mounting issues, being the lack of power, insufficient water, and focus on mine-expansion exploration to the detriment of greenfield efforts, the biggest problems.

Chile has also toughened up its environmental rules, triggering projects halts and mine closures that may make some investors re-think their plans.

With the world experiencing slumping commodities prices, the mining industry in Chile is not only expecting lower revenues from copper this year, but the country as a whole will see its coffers take a hit.

Chile's private mining association, Sonami, said in April that for every US cent the annual average price of copper falls, Chile's government loses $60 million and the value of its exports falls by $128 million.