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Is Chile really “no copper to dig”?

Posted by: Alloy 2021-07-15 Comments Off on Is Chile really “no copper to dig”?

A piece of news recently attracted the attention of many investors: “The world’s largest copper exporter, Chile, may have no copper to dig.” The article said, “An official report from Chile, the world’s largest copper supplier, came with disturbing news: Recently, there has been less and less copper resources explored…Copper resources in Chile have shown that they cannot keep up with market demand. Trends, 94% of the exploration resources and reserves were discovered before 2010…”

After reading this piece of news, the reporter faintly felt that something was wrong. Why did I not read or hear such news when I was in Latin America? Relying on the professional habit of “doubting everything and finding the truth” and using the Internet, the reporter found the “official report” mentioned in the article and found that the truth does not seem to be what this article describes.

The report mentioned in the article was drafted by the Chilean Copper Commission under the Chilean Ministry of Mines. The title of the report is “Mineral Belts in the Central Andes: Key Areas for Mineral Development”. It was generated in June 2016 and issued in 2016. It was written in Spanish, the official language of Chile, on July 4, 2015. It can be downloaded and browsed freely on the website of the Chilean Copper Commission. Hernandez, vice chairman of the Chilean Copper Commission, stated at the press conference of this report that the purpose of drafting this report is to “integrate (Chile) information in the fields of history, economy, geography, and geology, so as to better understand Chile. The trend of mineral development, and to narrow the gap between Chile and developed countries in the acquisition, organization and dissemination of mineral-related information”.

In the fifth paragraph of the “General” section on the second page of the report, there is a paragraph: “(between 2000 and 2015), 94% of the copper resources explored in Chile were discovered before 2010. 2010 Over the years, although investment in mining (copper mines) has risen sharply, the income from mining has not risen correspondingly.”

The entire report did not mention that Chile’s copper reserves are “disturbing” or that Chile’s copper resources “have shown a trend that cannot keep up with market demand”. On the contrary, the report mentioned: Between 2000 and 2014, 30.2% of the copper resources discovered in the world were located in Chile; between 2000 and 2015, a total of 35 copper resources were discovered in central and northern Chile, with an output of approximately 208.6 million. Tons of copper, of which 20.6% are suitable for surface mining, and 49.9% of the resources are distributed in deeper deposits over 100 meters; due to the continuous improvement of Chile’s copper exploration technology in recent years, it has now been possible to detect potential deeper underground places. Copper resources. Copper resources detected before 2009 are generally no more than 200 meters deep, but resources from 500 to 600 meters deep underground can now be detected. Therefore, the previously abandoned “copper-free” zone can now be re-incorporated into exploration Sight…

The self-summary at the end of the report is as follows: “According to the known information, (Chile) surface copper resources may face exhaustion, but there are huge potential copper resources in the deeper underground (100 to 600 meters). Currently, deep mining The mine is technically feasible, so Chile’s copper mining industry can continue to develop.”

In other words, Chileans are optimistic about their copper resources and copper mining industry, and outsiders don’t need to worry about them for the time being.

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