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Chilean Mining Project Pipeline Update

The Ministry of Mining and Energy reported that a total of 100 mining projects had their environmental permits approved during the first quarter of 2021. 

According to the ministry, the projects approved represent USD$25.6 billion dollars in investment. The projects will generate more than 83 thousand jobs in Chile: 57,282 in the construction phase and 23,619 in the operational phase. 

Projects that pass the environmental process tend to have greater certainty of materializing in the medium term since companies can begin the sectoral procedures to start construction. Generally, it is a good indicator of the level of activity that will come in the near future. 

Breakdown of the Projects

The Atacama region of northern Chile leads the way, accounting for 38 developments valued at US $4.3bn, followed by the Antofagasta region with 34 projects involving investments of US$16.8bn. The remaining 28 projects are split between Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Tarapacá, Metropolitan, O’Higgins, Aysén and Magallanes regions.

Most of these are projects submitted seek to give continuity to current operations. For example, Codelco’s Radomiro Tomic Division has upgrades submitted with a value for US $882m.

Current Projects in Constructions

There are currently 24 projects already in the construction phase with a combined value of US $25 billion. According to reports from the ministry these projects in constructions contribute 30,696 jobs in the works stage and that once they are operating, they will generate 17,138 jobs.

Future Project Pipeline

According to the Chilean Copper Commission, Cochilco, there is an investment pipeline of US $74 billion in projects between 2022 and 2029. 

5 new projects were added on this years investment pipeline – 

  • Teck Carmen de Andacollo
  • Lundins Mining Minera Candelaria Opertional Continuity
  • Amsa South Pole Project
  • Nittetsu Argueros 
  • Kinross reactivation of Lono Marte Project

Future global growth in the mining industry will strongly be weighted towards copper and lithium. Chile has a fantastic copper project pipeline and abundant lithium. In addition, existing operating mines are in the middle of a digital and automation push.

These two factors make the Chilean mining industry an important region for mining suppliers. Companies with interesting solutions that create value for miners need to take steps immediately to have local presence or they will risk missing out one of the most exciting mining markets in the world. 

Ax Legal is a legal and business advisory firm that works with foreign companies in Latin America. Our team of legal and commercial advisors have a distinguished track record of helping foreign technology and services companies to grow and operate in Latin America. Over the years, we have worked with starts up, mid-size businesses, and publicly listed companies. The one common factor that connects are clients is that they are leaders in their field, providing innovative technologies and services to the industrial sectors.

To better understand how we can support you in the Region, please contact Cody Mcfarlane at