Codelco says 40% of its copper production is at risk if the glacier bill passes media


SANTIAGO – Chilean state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, said in a letter to lawmakers this week that up to 40% of its copper output is at risk if a bill limiting mining operations nearby glaciers advance, according to a report in the local daily El Mercurio.

The letter, sent by Codelco to the Chilean Senate’s Mining and Energy Committee, notes that three of its main mining operations – Andina, El Teniente and Salvador – would be affected by the “absolute bans” currently under consideration in The law project.

“The new protections proposed in the project would overlap current and future activities in Andina, El Teniente and Salvador,” Codelco executives warned in the letter to lawmakers, according to the El Mercurio report.

The three mines together account for nearly 40% of the sprawling mining output, according to government statistics.

The Senate is considering the Glacier Protection Bill as it begins to consider a royalty bill aimed at sharply increasing taxes on the country’s copper miners, a punch that officials say industry, could doom Chile’s many massive mines.

Supporters of the bill say Chile’s glaciers, already threatened by climate change, need immediate protection from industrial operations.

The glacier bill was first introduced in early 2018 and is expected to receive extensive committee review and procedural votes in the coming weeks.

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