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Codelco approves reformulation of Chuquicamata Subterránea mine

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Global Mining Review,

In a decisive step, Codelco's board approved the reformulation of the Chuquicamata Subterránea (Chuqui Subte) mine; a structural project that will extend the life of the mine for another 50 years.

In an extraordinary session, corporate governance authorised the optimisation of Chuqui Subte's design, which initially considered four levels of depth, and that now, after the reformulation, will be only three. This change allowed for savings in the investments initially considered, in addition to improving the material handling system.

It should be remembered that this project began to be developed in the period of maximum growth in prices (it was approved in 2014, and its early works began in 2012), when a significant increase in investment costs began, affecting all the industry. The reformulation of the design, together with a deep renegotiation of the main contracts, made it possible to reduce the escalation of costs. In this way, the estimated total of the project is around US$5550 million, with an internal rate of return of more than 10%.

The approval of the board is subject to the recommendations of Cochilco and the Ministry of Social Development, which are reviewing in parallel the changes to the project.

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