$18.5 Billion Mineral Investment for Copper in Chile to 2015

National mineral investment will reach $18.522 billion during 2005-2015 in Chile, the world’s largest copper producer. BHP Billiton and Antofagasta plan to develop new mineral deposits in northern Chile and the total investment will reach $10.872 billion. CODELCO Chile plans $7.65 billion of mineral investment.BHP Billiton is scheduled to invest $990 million for the development of new copper ore deposits in Spence, Chile during 2004-07, according to Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC). The firm will also construct the copper smelting facilities and produce 200,000 tonnes of copper ingot per year in the country.BHP Billiton also plans to produce copper ingot from low-grade sulfide ores at Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, by means of solvent extraction and electro winning (SX/EW) processing method with bioleaching technology. The firm will invest totally $870 million and start the production at 180,000 tonnes per year in June 2006. Antofagasta plans to output 150,000 tonnes of sulfide concentrate per year by the development of Esperanza deposits, investing totally $600 million during 2007-2009.