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Antofagasta announces first mine to use 100% renewable energy

Mining News - Published on Thu, 12 Jul 2018

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Minera Zaldívar will be the first Chilean company to use 100% renewable energy sources to produce copper. This is thanks to a long-term contract signed today between Zaldívar-operated by Antofagasta Minerals, owner of 50% of the company-and Colbún S.A.

Mr Iván Arriagada CEO of Antofagasta Minerals said that "This agreement continues our move to become a more sustainable mining operation, with clean energy reducing the emissions of gases that cause climate change. In addition, as a result of a competitive tender process, we have managed to reduce Zaldívar’s future energy costs.”

Mr Thomas Keller, CEO of Colbún said that "The signing of this contract crystallises Colbún’s vision of contributing safe, competitive and sustainable energy to the productive development of the country, and allows us to advance the development of a value offer for our clients that is consistent with our strategy of increasing our renewable energy portfolio.”

The agreement signed between the General Manager of Minera Zaldívar, Luis Sánchez, and Juan Eduardo Vásquez, Manager of the Business and Energy Management Division of Colbún, will take effect in July 2020 and will last for ten years. The award of the electricity supply bid will see Colbún certify that the energy used by Zaldívar comes from renewable sources that do not generate emissions, and this must be verified by an external body.

Mr Luis Sánchez said that "This is a very important step for the future of Zaldívar, because it will help us to be more competitive. Our intention is to continue be a contributor to the region and the country, as we have been over the 23 years of our operation."

Thanks to this contract for 550 GWh/year, Zaldívar will be the first copper mine in Chile that will use only sources of renewable generation to supply its electricity needs. In this way, it will be able to replace emissions equivalent to 350,000 tons per year of greenhouse gases, equivalent to about 87,000 vehicles per year.

According to Juan Eduardo Vázquez, of Colbún, "this contract will be supplied from a combination of three renewable energy sources: hydro, solar and wind, from existing power plants and future projects. These diversified technologies will not only allow us to deliver 100% renewable energy, but will also provide a reliable supply at competitive prices."

In the Antofagasta region, Colbún is undertaking studies associated with the Horizonte wind project (close to 600 MW), in the Taltal area. This initiative was initiated through a tender by the Ministry of National Assets that was awarded last September to Colbún, for 30 years and whose income from the concession will go in part to the regional government. The project will require 4 years of study and 3 years for construction.

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Posted By : Joykumar Irom on Thu, 12 Jul 2018
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