The world’s largest copper miner, Codelco, took advantage of the international bond markets to refinance its debt and finance its expansion plans, after the Chilean government said it was not considering capital investments. The copper giant sold US$1 billion in 10-year bonds that will yield 1.35 percentage points above U.S. Treasury bonds, after initially talking about approximately 1.5 percentage points, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked to not be identified. It also sold US$1 billion through the reopening of the 2050 bond issued last year. These were sold at 165 percentage points over Treasury bonds.
Codelco needs to invest more than US$20 billion to keep production levels stable, even if the company has a debt of US$18.4 billion. That number could increase to US$21 billion, according to former executive director Nelson Pizarro.
Finance Minister Ignacio Briones said the Chilean government would provide support to the company, but not capital injections. The backing of the Chilean government helps investors look beyond high levels of debt.