Investment in the Chilean mining industry – Portfolio of projects, 2018-2027
Chilean Copper Commission – COCHILCO, 2008
Download the complete inform from the COCHILCO site HERE.
For private companies and the government, it is important to have a projection of the future development of mining activity in the country, based on information about investment over the next ten years, including not only copper but also gold, silver, iron, lithium and industrial minerals. For over 12 years, this has, therefore, been a fundamental line of work of the Chilean Copper Commission (COCHILCO).
In its 2018 version, this survey of mining investment considers projects with start-up dates in the decade from 2018 to 2027 of which there are 44, valued at a total of US$65,747 million.
This figure is the result of adjustments to reflect the start-up in 2017 of seven initiatives out of the 47 considered in the previous survey, an investment reduction of US$1,948 million due to CAPEX optimizations in some projects, the exit from the portfolio of two industrial minerals projects that are seeking to improve their engineering and the entry oplf six new projects valued at US$5,902 million. These cautious changes in mining investment are an unequivocal signal of a year of stabilization in the industry, with a view to growing in the coming years in line with substantial improvements in world market conditions and our country’s economic development.
This is best seen when comparing projects with a higher probability of materialization within the expected timeframe and those where this probability is lower. The first group, which corresponds to base and probable initiatives, totals US$36,257 million, with 25 projects that represent 55.1% of the total portfolio.
The second group of possible and potential projects, which are more prone to be affected by changes in market conditions, corresponds to 19 initiatives valued at US$29,490 million and represents 44.9% of the total portfolio.
Out of six new projects incorporated this year, three are in copper mining: the Collahuasi Complementary Installations 170 ktpd project for US$302 million; the Zaldívar Operational Continuity project for US$100 million; and the Nueva Unión Phases II and III projects for US$3,700 million. The others are the Salares Norte gold project of Gold Fields, valued at US$1,000 million, and two lithium projects: SQM Salar’s brownfield Lithium Carbonate Expansion to 180 ktpy project for US$450 million (which would complement the Salar del Carmen Expansion project included in the 2017 portfolio) and Maricunga Salts Production, a greenfield project by SIMCO SpA, a company in the Errázuriz Group, for US$350 million.
Copper mining continues to predominate in the 2018 portfolio, with 32 projects that, at US$59,103 million, account for 89.9% of the total investment. Although this is down on the 2017 portfolio (36 projects for US$59,235 million), the contribution that these projects would make in terms of output is larger than in 2017 and, indeed, the largest in the last three years, following the sharp drop in investment seen in 2014.
Along with copper, investment in lithium stands out this year, with four projects valued at US$1,280 million and representing 1.9% of the portfolio.