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Mining Turns Corner as Escondida Commissioned

13 February 2017
Research Note

In June 2017, BHP Billiton will fully commission the largest desalination plant in the Americas – a 216,000 m3/d reverse osmosis project located in Antofagasta, Chile. Bringing the Escondida project on-line is a major milestone for the mining desalination market.

The plant’s commissioning comes at a sensitive time for the copper mining industry after a 28% price drop in 2016. Ten major desalination projects for mining have seen timeline revisions in the past year as the industry adjusted to metals price drops.

In this Research Note, Bluefield water experts analyze the market impacts of this new project. For related analysis, see our reports for purchase: Water Solutions for Global Mining. To learn more about our industrial water market analysis, contact our water market experts.


  • 2016 price declines throw mining, desalination projects into turmoil
  • Price recovery, scarcity issues, improving efficiency bode well for 2017 investment.
  • CODELCO tender signals next major opportunity.

Companies Mentioned

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