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Chile Project Pipeline Update – $68.9 billion in mining investments from 2021 to 2030

The Chilean state copper commission released its new forecast for the mining project pipeline which accounts for $68.9 billion in mining investments from 2021 to 2030. Although the pipeline is down 6.9% from the previous forecast as two projects were removed, 5 new projects were added involving copper, gold, iron, and industrial minerals.

The two projects that were removed were both with Codelco. The first was the expansion project for Andina which was postponed until in 2035 (outside the reports forecast which ends in 2030). This was an investment of approx. US $3.2b. The second is less clear but the decrease was due to the removal of US $1.9 billion from Codelco’s “other development projects.”

Even with the slight drop from last years forecast, there were 5 new projects added to the project pipeline that are important additions.

For the full list of the project pipeline, you can see here. 

Glencore – Lomas Bayas 2034

The objective is to extend of the life of the Lomas Bayas mine until the year 2034, in addition to increasing the rate of extraction to approximately 170,000 tpd, and with a cathode production of around 85,000 tons / year.

To extend the life of the mine, the Project considers using the existing facilities and, in some cases, modifying parts of the “Mine-Pit Operations”, “Heap Leaching” and “Transportation and waste disposal “. The modifications will focus mainly on the Mine-Plant Area, and correspond to the expansion of pit surfaces, ROM piles and dumps, increasing the height of the HEAP pile, and modifications in a section of the access road to the site.

The project already has its environmental approvals and is expected to enter construction in 2024. Investment is expected to be around USD$250 million.


Pelambres – Marginal Expansion Phase II & Futuro I Project

The new project has come about due to the Pelambres Marginal Expansion Phase II project being separated into two initiatives – one of which is considered a new project: Pelambres Futuro I, which seeks to expand the desalination plant under construction with an investment of US $1 billion and will require up to 2000 workers during construction.

The first phase (Marginal Expansion Phase II), is already under way with an investment of US $1.7 Billion for the construction of a 400 lts / sec Desalination Plant in Los Vilos and the installation of a new milling and flotation line in the Concentrator Plant. To date, this project has progressed in its construction of 49.5%.

The new project added to the project pipeline is Futura 1, which the company will soon submit an environmental impact study in order to operate mainly with desalinated seawater and build a new copper concentrate transportation system.

The futuro 1 projects seeks to expand the desalination plant currently being built in Los Vilos, build a new concentraduct, and carry out some continuity works in the El Mauro dam. This will allow Minera Los Pelambres to stop using water from the Choapa River and use only renewable energy.

Yamana Gold – El Peñón

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted in 2021 which aims to expand operations at the El Peñón underground gold and silver mine, in the Antofagasta Region, with an investment of USD $172 million.

The initiative considers the expansion and exploitation of the existing veins in the “El Peñón”, “Fortuna” and “Laguna” sectors increasing production to 5.5 m/t of ore and adding 9 years of life to the mine.

Work will be needed to increase the useful life of the process plant, the electric generation plant, the expansion of the tailings deposit, and updating of the transport and storage of the hazardous substances.

Incorporación Propiedad Minera – Faena Negreiros of Cosayach

Cosayach, a saltpeter and iodine company owned by Grupo Errázuriz, submitted an environmental impact statement for the Incorporation of Minera Property – Faena Negreiros, which will require an investment of US $1 billion.

The Faena Negreiros has been operating since 1996. The initiative considers a new mining property, which will allow the extension of the mine using the same processing plant.

Once the mineral is extracted from the deposit, it is sent to the leaching piles, which are irrigated with a leaching solution composed of seawater and waste solutions from the chemical plant to obtain a rich solution. It is then sent by pipeline to the chemical plant where it is transformed from iodate to iodide.

CMP’s Magnetite Plant Operational Continuity

The Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) was filed earlier this year, which consists of a modifying the original plan that initially contemplated a useful life of 15 years.

The new project considers having a supply of tailings or pre-concentrates from third parties to supply, in a complementary manner, the Magnetite Plant when operating and supply conditions from CCMC or Los Colorados Mine are interrupted or diminished.

This implies that the useful life will be at least 20 years which will have a cost of USD$95 million.

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