REPORT: Mining Investments for Chile to Reach $105 Billion By 2023
Chile’s mining industry is heating up. According to a new report by the state copper commission Cochilco, investments in the country’s mining sector are expected to reach $105 billion between 2014 and 2023.
Of the total investment, it’s reported $81 billion will go towards the copper industry while $23 billion will be used for gold, silver, iron ore another industrial mineral projects.
The massive investment will also include $28 billion in allocated funds for Codelco, the state-owned copper mining company, for new mines and the expansion of one of its major projects.
"Certain projects are currently facing delays," Cochilco executive VP Sergio Hernández said.
According to Hernández, some projects may be running behind schedule as a result of delays in securing permits or meeting new environmental and social standards, but nothing has been terminated.
"There are no trust issues here; mining investors are confident. No project has fallen through.”
Mining investments in Chile will feature 14 companies that are looking to implement medium or large-scale mining projects in the country for the first time, according to the report by Cochilco.
The planned investment will also include nine new mining projects with an estimated investment of $8.9 billion, including seven for copper.
Cochilco said once all projects are completed, the country’s copper production will exceed six million tons by 2015 and eight million tons by 2025. Gold production is expected to rise as well, increasing by 191 percent to 149,480kg a year.
Chile, the world’s top copper producer, has been battling sliding prices, rising costs and falling ore grades.
Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone
Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.
Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence.
As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.
Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.
Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.
Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."
Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.
"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.
Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.
Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is producing two million tonnes per annum of high grade iron ore in the first phase of development, with expansion possibilities of greater than six million tonnes per annum of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.
"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”