Chile, Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, is attempting to minimise a series of problems that have pushed one of its investment projects behind time and beyond budget.
Prior to a tragic accident, pandemic-related delays, and the termination of the company hired to undertake earthworks, the Chilean state-owned company had planned to convert its mostly underground Salvador mine into an open pit by the 1st half of 2023.
The division chief, Christian Toutin, stated in a Friday interview that output in 2023 will be “nearly nil” because of the delays.
Will there be enough copper supply to satisfy growing demands?
According to him, production will be close to 70,000 metric tonnes next year. Peaking in the 2nd half of the year & achieving the planned capacity of 90,000 tonnes in 2025.
It will cost more than the initial estimate of 1.4 billion dollar. And management plans to release a revised budget by the end of March.
Salvador has been training personnel, refitting used Heavy-Vehicles from another mine. And intends to select a new contracting business this month to lessen the delays & control expenses.
We are concentrating on how to reposition the plan & complete it as quickly as we can, Toutin added.
As mines become more expensive & difficult to construct. Codelco & other businesses in the sector are facing challenges with projects necessary to sustain production at their ageing operations.
The most recent project restrictions reinforce the bullish argument for copper. With Goldman Sachs projecting that miners will need to invest around 150 billion dollar over the course of the next ten years to make up an 8 million tonne copper shortfall.