Drought, Demand, Politics Shake Chile Copper Mining

27 Sep 2021
Quick read / 2 pages
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In August 2021, Chile’s courts ordered the BHP Group to temporarily cease groundwater pumping at the Cerro Colorado copper mine due to environmental concerns with the underlying aquifer. This moratorium comes one month after Chilean-based copper mining group, Antofagasta, announced in July that it was cutting their 2021 production target by 20,000 tonnes due to water shortages.

These production cuts are taking place amidst rising demand for copper and political negotiations around Chile’s new constitution.

In this Research Note:

  • Soaring copper demand exposes industry risk to water
  • Copper mines in Chile adapt to water scarcity with increasing efficiency and desalination
  • Legislation and Chilean constitutional changes

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