Antofagasta’s flagship mine Los Pelambres has been one of many firm’s operations hardest hit by the dearth of rainfall.
Chile’s central area alone, the place the mine is situated and residential to nearly all of each the nation’s inhabitants and key copper mines, has seen rainfall lower by greater than 30% during the last 20 years.
The drought not solely is impacting miners, but in addition farmers and wine makers, which has led the authorities to reform the nation’s water code.
Chief govt Iván Arriagada famous the corporate is able to fee a desalination plant within the second half of the yr, which can present a long-term resolution to ongoing water shortages at Los Pelambres.
Arriagada additionally drew consideration to the a number of beneficial long-term tendencies that have been in place within the copper market.
“The demand image for copper continues to be robust as copper is important to financial exercise and inexperienced funding initiatives akin to electrical autos, infrastructure and renewable vitality,” he mentioned.
Antofagasta is within the midst of increasing Los Pelambres’ concentrator plant, with work slated to be accomplished in early 2023.
The corporate, majority-owned by Chile’s Luksic household, one of many nation’s wealthiest, famous that it’s reviewing the mission’s prices due primarily to impacts of covid-19. It already anticipates that capital expenditure this yr will enhance to between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion.
Internet money prices this yr have been estimated at $1.55 per pound of copper, up from $1.20 a pound in 2021, reflecting decrease manufacturing and elevated enter prices, particularly sulphuric acid.