Canada’s Capstone Mining announced positive results for the Santo Domingo project, a copper, iron and gold deposit that they have been studying for years. It is one of the most important mining projects in the Atacama, northern Chile. The firm, which owns 70% of the mining company — the remaining 30% is owned by Korean company Kores — announced a strategic process to explore several alternatives to develop it, including the sale of part of the project.
“The technical report updates the economics of the project, which benefits from significantly lower energy costs and several engineering changes, including the use of desalinated water instead of seawater,” the company in Canada said. “The report also includes the addition of cobalt to resources minerals.”
Darren Pylot, president and CEO of Capstone, said in a statement that “there is a shortage of large-scale and high-quality copper projects, and the completion of our updated technical report comes at an ideal time.”
“Capstone, with the support of Kores, is initiating a strategic process for Santo Domingo that will evaluate alternatives related to ownership of the project, and we will consider the potential of transmission opportunities, given that the gold reserve and the cobalt resource help to finance the project,” he added.
Despite having an environmental permit since 2015, Santo Domingo was slowed down in its development due to the volatility of the price of copper.
“We are advancing in engineering and have received three of the five long-lead construction permits, and the rest is expected to be received by 2019,” the company said. “We are aiming for Santo Domingo to be ready for construction in early 2020.”
In the government, they did not take long to react to the news. Juan Obach of the Office of Management of Sustainable Projects of the Ministry of Economy valued the announcement because of the effect it will have on employment in the region, estimated at 1,500 people for construction and 1,000 for the operation.
“We are seeing that investors are coming back to trust in our economy,” Obach said.
He added that Santo Domingo — a project he has been monitoring since he took office — is not the only sign of that and highlighted the steps being taken by Nueva Unión, which is an initiative of US$7 billion for the concrete industry.