Anglo American has secured desalinated water supply for its Los Bronces copper mine in Chile from 2025 — following the signing of an agreement with Aguas Pacífico, a Chilean water desalination and solutions provider — meeting almost half of the mine’s water requirements.

“Anglo American has set an ambition of reducing fresh water consumption in water scarce regions by 50% by 2030,” said Ruben Fernandes, CEO of Anglo American’s Base Metals business. “This agreement, which is the first phase of a larger and longer term integrated water project, is an important step towards achieving that goal.”

“Beyond this first phase, we are also planning an innovative swap scheme to provide desalinated water for human consumption in exchange for treated wastewater that will supply our operation,” said Anik Michaud, Group Director of Corporate Relations and Sustainable Impact for Anglo American. “This would allow us to stop drawing any fresh water for Los Bronces, our ultimate goal. This innovative approach also benefits local communities with the provision of clean water.”

In this first phase, Anglo American will be supplied with desalinated water from a plant that Aguas Pacifico is building in the Valparaiso Region. The water will be transported via pipeline to the Las Tortolas plant from where it will be pumped up to the Los Bronces mine. Anglo American will also provide desalinated water to Colina and Til Til, benefiting about 20,000 people.