Maintaining its position as the leading copper producer,
Chile has a number of new projects on the go promising
increased production rates. Highlights include:
A progressive company committed to growing its copper
production, Codelco has a number of ongoing development
• The Gaby 150,000 tpa copper oxide heap leach/SX/EW
• Expansion of the Andina Division, 80 kilometres northeast
of Santiago, to increase production by enlarging the open
pit and underground mines and constructing infrastructure
to increase processing throughput.
• A development plan aimed to allow the processing of
5,500 kty of concentrates by 2012 will use synergies of the
four Codelco smelters, replacing the traditional batch-type
converting process by a continuous available converting
One of the world’s largest copper producers, BHP Billiton is
strong in Chile, with new projects on the go such as:
• The Escondida sulphide bio-heap leach, a 180,000 tpa copper
project, which ramped up last July
• The recent startup of the Spence project, a 200,000 tpa
oxide and secondary sulphide heap leach operation near
Xstrata Copper enjoys a strong presence in Chile, with all
operations focused on growth plans for the future, including:
• Expansion of the smelter at Altonorte, a custom copper
smelting operation near Antofagasta in northern Chile with
a current capacity to process 820,000 tonnes of copper
concentrate per year.
• Development of the Fortuna de Cobre deposit to feed the
existing Lomas Bayas heap leach/SX/EW plant in the
Atacama Desert, to increase mine life by 10 years to 2023.
• Recent approval of the next phase of development of the
El Morro joint venture with Metallica Resources Ltd. The
project consists of two porphyry systems—the El Morro
system and the La Fortuna deposit. Feasibility work will be
advanced this year on La Fortuna.
With two major operations in Chile, including Collahuasi
and Minera Sur Andes, Anglo American will be ensuring its
high production levels with the expansion of Los Bronces
mine, part of Minera Sur Andes, near Santiago.
With very promising projects, Antofagasta Minerals faces
progressive growth in Chile, with projects including:
• Expansion of the Los Pelambres mine, one of the largest
open pit mines in Chile located 200 kilometres northeast of
Santiago, with an estimated life of at least 30 years.
• Developing the new Esperanza heap leach/SX/EW plant,
having completed its feasibility study.
Growth is a strategy Aur Resources is making reality in
Chile, with last summer’s announcement that development of
the Andacollo hypogene copper-gold deposit is a go-ahead.
At a pre-production capital cost of $336 million, the developed
deposit will produce 157 million pounds of copper and 59,200
ounces of gold annually over 21 years. The open pit mine and
processing plant is to ramp up by late 2009.