Codelco starts offering exploration assets to third parties

25th April 2022

By: Reuters


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SANTIAGO – Chilean State-owned mining company Codelco said on Friday it has commenced seeking prospect partnerships for 34 projects across the country, its first such move into joint exploration.

The offer of "non-core" prospects was first flagged by a company executive at the end of March but met opposition from unions, which saw it as a bid to privatize assets of the state-owned company, the world's largest copper producer. 

Codelco said the 34 projects meet "all the internal and legal requirements to be arranged for partnerships with third parties" since they are not part of deposits currently being mined, destined for expansion or replacement.

"The selected portfolio is made up of projects that cover approximately 255 000 ha under concession to Codelco, and that are in an early stage of exploration with different degrees of progress," it said in a statement, adding that basic exploration is mainly for copper and gold.

Eight of the projects have drilling information, 22 have geophysical information and 33 have with geochemical information, the statement said.

Codelco said that the applicants must be able to attract capital, innovation or the necessary technology for the projects.

The company, which already has a partnership with Freeport McMoran in El Abra mine, added that the model will enable it to evaluate the possibility of "upcoming construction and operation of new deposits".

Chilean law states that Codelco must carry out basic exploration work before it can form partnerships with third parties on prospects. Partnerships must also have the support of the board of directors and a favorable report by the Chilean Copper Commission.

Edited by Reuters


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