BHP and Coldeco push forward Chilean desal projects

Two major desalination projects to support the copper mining industry in Chile are moving ahead, reports Reuters.

BHP Billiton is in talks with a consortium of Japan’s Mitsui & Co, and Grupo Cobra, of Spain, to build a desalination plant at Spence copper mine in Chile.

A proposal to expand the mine in Chile’s Atacama desert was approved by the country’s environmental regulator SEA, in July 2017. The expansion includes an $800 million seawater desalination plant at Mejillones port, about 60 kilometres north of Antofagasta City on the South Pacific coast.

Meanwhile Chilean state-owned copper producer Coldeco has identified a shortlist of bidders for its $1.2 billion desalination plant in Antofagasta, and aims to award a contract by the end of 2017. The news emerged at Reuters Latin American Investment Summit, 7 to 11 August 2017.

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