It was announced on Monday that by the end of the decade Chile should receive just under $7 billion in mining investments, according to Chile’s state copper commission Chochilo. Since two projects ended up being removed from the pipeline, it resulted in a 6.9% decrease from the previous forest.
Although two were removed, five new mining projects involving gold, iron, copper, and industrial minerals were added, Chochilo said.
Codelco pushed back the starting date of beginning its $3.2 billion expansion of its Andina copper project to 2035, while also cutting $1.95 billion in investment costs. Codelco also has seven different mining divisions with projects in different regions including Camala and Machali.
Chile is the world’s top producer of copper. According to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations, “Copper production in Chile is expected to be 550,000 tonnes by the end of this quarter.” Approximately 27.8% of the pipeline’s value will go towards state-owned miners Codelco and Enami, while the majority of the funds will be put towards copper mining.
Chile is not the only country with pipeline projects on the go. Peru, the world’s second top producer of copper, has a mining pipeline project estimated by the government to be worth around $50 billion.
The 21 de Mayo Project
Chile is also home to the copper mining project The 21 de Mayo Project. It is owned by Compania Minera San Geronimo and has plans to continue operation until 2027. “The mine produced an estimated 65.015Mt of ROM in 2020. It had an estimated production of 305.44 thousand tonnes of copper in 2020.”
The Compania Minera San Geronimo was first introduced to the Rendic family in the 1960’s and remained closed for another 20 years before becoming operational. They started out as a small to medium size mining company and over the years made a name for themselves and are now one of the biggest producers in the sector. They not only produce copper concentrate but other materials derived from the mineral as well.
They started out producing food-grade copper for livestock owners, producing about 10,000 tons per year. San Geronimo also created their own fertilizer formula called Ferticopper, which was used to meet the nutritional needs of all different kinds of crops. Not only did they create this new fertilizer, but they also created a system to obtain their copper right from the ground on-site, instead of using copper scrap to generate their products.
As competition grew over the years, the company decided to create another new form of copper called Agrocopper, which made them stand out from competitors. This product could be used all throughout the year, “had a wide coverage, was soluble in water, neutral PH and will not affect or contaminate the crops or the soil.” It also was not harmful to the ground, and a small dose allowed better control over fungi and plants throughout the year.
San Geronimo launched this product in 2016 the transnational pharmaceutical company Bayer caught wind and decided to start distributing it in Chile and today plan on taking it to Latin America. It is a unique product that allows farmers to save money by purchasing one reasonably priced product for their crops rather than being unorganized with ten different crop and soil products.