Antofagasta Signs $600-Million Deal To Boost Water Supply For Centinela Expansion

Zinger Key Points
  • Antofagasta invests $600 million for water supply expansion in a copper-rich but water-scarce region.
  • Seawater pipeline construction reduces project cost by $380 million, boosting Centinela's copper output by 140,000 tons annually.

Antofagasta‘s ANFGF stock price is up 1.82% at last check Thursday, trading at $27.95 per share after news broke that the company signed a $600-million deal to enhance water supply systems in northern Chile.

What Happened: The company took a critical step to ramp up mining production in a water-scarce region of Chile.

The latest investment is deemed essential for expanding the Centinela mine at a time when copper is becoming a focal point for the industry.

"Our commitment to responsible and sustainable mining drives us to invest in innovative solutions that ensure our operations have a reliable water supply while minimizing environmental impact," CEO Iván Arriagada said in a statement. “This agreement underscores our dedication to sustainability and operational efficiency.”

Antofagasta will transfer its existing water transportation assets and rights to a consortium comprised of Almar Water Solutions, a company with a proven track record in sustainable water management, and Transelec, a Chilean leader in electricity transmission.

These partners will oversee the expansion of the water transportation infrastructure, significantly reducing the overall capital expenditure for Antofagasta's Second Concentrator Project by approximately $380 million. Central to this initiative is constructing a 144 km long pipeline to supply seawater.

See Also: Copper Faces Pressure As Chinese Stockpiles Soar, Demand Weakens: Prices Slip Below $10,000 Per Ton

Why It Matters: Antofagasta is committed to sustainable mining practices and responsible water stewardship in a region facing chronic water scarcity.

In this case, the company is using seawater to eliminate reliance on freshwater resources and reduce the environmental impact of the mine’s operations.

The expansion will also enable the Centinela mine to boost its annual copper production by 140,000 tons, positioning it as one of the world’s top 15 copper mines by output.

This increased production is expected to help alleviate the global copper deficit — a concern for many countries and industries as they transition towards clean energy technologies.

In addition to copper, the mine will extract an additional 3,500 tons of molybdenum and 130,000 ounces of gold annually, further diversifying the product portfolio.

This project will commence operations in 2026, following a 20-month construction period. The development phase is expected to create 1,500 local jobs, contribute to the regional economy, and reinforce Antofagasta's commitment to community engagement.

Now Read: Gold Price Forecast Soars To $2,800 By 2025 On Market Shift: Analysts

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