Codelco requests permit for $2.5bn Ministro Hales mine extension

2nd August 2023

By: Reuters


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SANTIAGO - Chile's State-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, submitted on Tuesday a request for an environmental permit to extend the useful life of its Ministro Hales mine with a $2.5-billion investment.

The project aims to boost production capacity of copper concentrate from the current 700 000 metric tons a year to 830,000 tons. It also seeks to increase the mineral processing rate from an annual average of 57 000 tons a day to 65 000 tons a day.

The request said the project would extend operations by 30 years.

"(Ministro Hales) will maintain the currently approved production process, mineral extraction in an open pit mine and waste disposal in a dump, mineral processing in a concentrator plant, roasting of part of the concentrate produced and disposal of tailings," it added.

Various operating problems brought Codelco's production down to its lowest level in a quarter of a century in 2022. Ministro Hales, located in the northern city of Calama, produced 152 000 tons of copper in 2022.

Edited by Reuters


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