SANTIAGO(Scrap Monster):The world's biggest copper producer, Chile's Codelco has no plans to slow investments at its Chilean mine operations, even as rivals shelve or delay projects.
To continue production in the division at its current level of around 430,000 mt/year for half a century from the start of operations in 2017 an investment of $3.8 billion will be allowed .
An investment of $20 billion over the next four years is planned by Codelco to overhaul its aging mines. It is a program that remains in place despite the recent decline in copper prices and growing economic uncertainty.
Codelco is a company with a long term view so the projects are not conditional on the market's short term fluctuations.
BHP Billiton, multinational mining, oil and gas company, shelved a $20 billion expansion of its Olympic Dam mine in Australia over escalating construction costs last month , while the Peruvian government blocked Newmont Mining's Congas project in the face of persistent local opposition.
A new sulfides operation is added at the Radomiro Tomic pit to its list of major projects alongside the new Ministro Hales mine by the Chilean mining company recently, an expansion of its Andina mine and underground developments at Chuquicamata and El Teniente, which have been in operation for over a century each.
Codelco remains on target to produce 1.7 million mt of copper during 2012, despite a 6.4% decline in output in the first six months of the year, little changed from last year. Together they are expected to help the company boost production to over 2 million mt/year by the end of the decade.
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