Codelco eyes recovering production of 1.7mt/y by 2030

Chuquicamata mine, Chile. Credit: Codelco.

Chilean state-run copper miner Codelco expects it will take until 2030 to recover production capacity of 1.7 million metric tons per year, outgoing chief executive Andre Sougarret said on Friday.

The comments come as the mining giant faces challenges on various fronts, with copper production at a 25-year low and the government charging Codelco with leading talks with private lithium companies to shift to a state-led public-private model.

Sougarret will step down at the end of the month after announcing his resignation in June, citing “complexities” in running the world’s largest copper producer.

During a presentation on Friday, he defended key expansion projects, including at the El Teniente mine, and said their completion was “undebatable.”

He also stressed that there was about $15 billion left to complete the expansion projects.

Delays have plagued several projects, including the underground Chuqui mine.

However, Sougarret said he expected the mine to reach its production goal in the coming years, which will help lower costs.

Meanwhile, he added the company will use “alternative actions” to extract materials from the El Teniente mine following expansion delays there.

(By Fabian Cambero and Isabel Woodford; Editing by Anthony Esposito)

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