Close to 20% of Chile’s largest copper mines will be closed or reconverted by 2025, as the country faces a challenging scenario, marked by falling ore grades at its aging mines, sliding copper price and rising costs.
While the country produced 5.8 million tons of copper last year, 20% of that figure (1.2 million tons) came from operations that are facing closure or conversion in the next 10 years.
According to local paper El Mercurio (in Spanish), while the country produced 5.8 million tons of copper last year, 20% of that figure (1.2 million tons) came from operations that are facing closure or conversion in the next 10 years.
But there is a way out for the world’s largest copper producer, which also holds the largest reserves of the red metal. The key seems to be investing in reconversion projects focused on mining sites redevelopment to create new commercial possibilities.
The problem, notes the article, is that most miners believe now is not the best time to start such projects. What is worse: carrying on current activities may make them even more difficult to execute in just a couple of years.
Some official figures reinforce the pessimism. According to the country’s Mining Council, 43% of the global copper producers will be generating higher ore grades than Chile by 2020.
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