ANTOFAGASTA LEADS PORTFOLIO OF MINING PROJECTS FOR COMING YEARS
AIA foresees increased opportunities for the region, including investment in energy. Over the next 9 years, 60.5 billion dollars will be invested in mining initiatives in Chile, 47% of which is destined for Antofagasta, making this region, which is already the leading global copper producer, accounting for 14% of production worldwide, into an investment hotspot. It is also one of the most important regions for energy, astronomy and business tourism. For Marko Razmilic, president of the Antofagasta Industrial Association (AIA), this news is a sign of an injection of dynamism into the area. "This region is the best place to do business, considering that it is home to operations run by the world's major mining companies, including the state-owned Codelco, as well as Escondida, the Antofagasta Minerals group, SQM, Albemarle, Glencore, El Abra, El Peñón- Yamana Gold and more". Meanwhile, Marlene Sánchez, executive director of the Antofagasta Regional Productive Development Committee, explains that "today we are on the brink, according to an OECD study, of a positive growth outlook for Chile in 2018 and 2019. As a government, we believe that we are leaving in place a productive structure that is much better linked up to research and development and more connected to investment. We are therefore sure that the growth that can already be seen in copper prices will be a boost to other industries and opportunities that we have in the region, which we have been working to develop". Energy. The good news is not limited to the mining industry. The Region of Antofagasta has 48 initiatives in its portfolio of energy projects from 2017 to 2021, which translate into an investment of 24 billion dollars. One of the initiatives that is already in operation, for example, is the geothermal power station "Cerro Pabellón", the first plant of its type in South America. Located near the town of Ollague, it supplies power to 165 thousand homes, avoiding around 166 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Authorization is currently being sought to expand the plant, with an investment of US$200 million. Without a doubt, this is a region that has put great efforts into developing industry and diversifying Chile's economic matrix, with ambitious projects in energy, astronomy and mining, with the subterranean phase of the Chuquicamata mine a key project in the latter sector.