MAGAZINE DE NEGOCIOS #14 OCT-NOV 2016 - Page 7

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Chilean Mining

Chilean mining costs highest in the world, despite saving measures

Mining costs in Chile, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, were among the highest in the world last year even though most companies spent 2015 cutting expenses and placing projects in the back burner, a new study released Monday shows. Data from the Mining Council, which groups the largest copper, gold and silver miners operating in Chile, reveal that production costs in the country last year were 5.4% higher than its global peers’ average.

Production costs in Chile, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, were 5.4% higher last year when compared to its global peers’ average.

Mine level cash costs in the country that is responsible for nearly 6 million tonnes of global annual copper production of 21 million tonnes fell last year to an average of $1.3 per pound, local paper El Mercurio reports. In the rest of the world, the average was between 82 cents to $1.05 per pound.

The news comes as a bit of shock for the industry, as the costs of mining copper in Chile last year maintained the downward trend they had been following since 2013, reaching $2.16 per pound, which is about 3.5% less than the $2.24 they hit in 2014. But the South American nation has also been hit by high energy costs, which threatens the competitiveness of the country's copper industry and poses a major challenge for new developments.

Electricity costs in Latin America’s wealthiest economy have climbed 11% per year since 2000, making it one of the most expensive places in the world to secure energy for mining projects.

And while the nation has the world's richest reserves of copper, grades are falling at its massive but aging copper mines, making it difficult to maintain output and putting pressure on costs.

Fuente: mining.com

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