This week the Chilean Minister of Economy José Ramón Valente visited the Spence mine to officially inaugurate the recently announced expansion, which will create more than 3,000 jobs during construction. The nearly $2.5 billion initiative, which was supported by the Chilean Ministry of Economy’s Office of Sustainable Projects (known as GPS) will support 220 jobs when it is in operation. “This is in line with the government’s goal of reactivating investment to boost the country’s economy,” Ramón said. “We are promoting investment projects that will generate more employment in the country.”

Additionally, the expansion of Minera Spence contemplates a $570 million desalination plant that also has the support of GPS. The expansion will extend the operation of the mine for 50 years, through the processing of the primary sulfide reserves from the current mining plan. This will be done through conventional flotation to produce copper concentrate and molybdenum with the plant processing a rate of around 95,000 metric tons per day.

Currently, the GPS is working with BHP Billiton, which owns Spence, on the environmental impact study for the Cerro Colorado project and the Monturaqui project, which is intended to supply water to Minera Escondida, as well as the authorization for new ongoing exploration activities.