Mining projects with environmental approval increase 20% in one year and exceed US $ 23 billion

If all the initiatives are carried out, it is expected that more than 84 thousand jobs will be created. The vast majority of the disbursement is in the Antofagasta Region.

One of the industries that will play a key role in the country’s economic reactivation once the pandemic is over will be mining, mainly due to the significant investment figures that are expected. Despite the effects of the coronavirus, according to government figures, there has been a sharp increase in investments, jobs and mining projects that already have their respective environmental approval.

At the end of the third quarter of 2019, there were 78 mining projects with investments for US $ 19,514 million approved by the Environmental Impact Assessment System (SEIA). But the figure rose to 82 projects worth $ 23.378 million this year, an increase of 20%. “These figures for larger projects, investment and jobs in mining with environmental approval are especially important, given that they are generated in the middle of the worst economic crisis in decades in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is the best example of the good health that mining enjoys in the short, medium and long term, because we also have an investment portfolio of US $ 74 billion by 2029 ”, commented the Minister of Mining, Baldo Prokurica.

Another effect of this rise is in jobs. If in the third quarter of 2019 they totaled 68,379, this figure increased in one year to 84,311, that is, almost 16 thousand more jobs, an annual increase of 23%. “Chileans need jobs to support their families and have greater progress and well-being. The state bureaucracy has to help and facilitate the realization of mining projects that, obviously, comply with current legislation, and not put unnecessary obstacles due to laziness or negligence. National and foreign investors are willing to generate wealth and jobs for the country, now it is necessary for the Public Administration to do its part ”, added the authority.


In geographical distribution, Antofagasta is the region with the largest portfolio of mining projects with environmental approval, contemplating 25 initiatives for almost US $ 12 billion. It is followed by Atacama with 35 projects for US $ 7,193 million, Coquimbo with 7 initiatives for US $ 3,191 million, Tarapacá with 4 projects for US $ 548 million and Valparaíso with 4 investments for US $ 354 million.

Although it is an important portfolio, the main task now is for these initiatives to take shape, since the list includes iconic works, such as the Dominga mining-port project, valued at US $ 2.5 billion, which has been prosecuted for years. . Along with this, the executive director of the consultancy Plusmining, Juan Carlos Guajardo, points out that although it is an important figure, it is mostly brownfield projects (expansions) and not new discoveries. “Just as it is important that projects are optimized and expand their operations, it is also very important that the country is renewing its portfolio of projects with new initiatives, and that is where we probably have a potential that we have not developed sufficiently,” he says. Guajardo adds that it is key to address the technical challenges associated with these projects, with the intention of completing the works within the originally planned deadlines.

“The experience of recent years has not been entirely favorable, the vast majority of projects have had cost overruns and, in addition, significant delays. In the decision-making of a board of directors, the factor that these issues are not repeated will be present, because they have important impacts on the profitability of the project”, says Guajardo.

Source: El Mercurio

Translated with Google Translator