Codelco Eyes Partnerships to Help Boost Ailing Copper Production – by James Attwood and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – April 15, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — Codelco is exploring more partnerships with the private sector as Chile’s state copper behemoth looks to recover from a production slump and surging debt.

Chairman Maximo Pacheco expects “some conclusions” this year from teams negotiating an operational tie-up between its Andina mine and Anglo American Plc’s adjoining Los Bronces, he said Monday in an interview. Codelco already has an indirect stake in Los Bronces, shares ownership of the El Abra mine with Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and is negotiating with would-be lithium partners.

“New projects and new partnerships are part of the essence of what we do in Codelco,” Pacheco told Bloomberg from Santiago, which is hosting one of the world’s largest copper industry events — Cesco Week and CRU’s World Copper Conference.

While there’s no talk of private sector ownership of Codelco or its main mines, which would require congressional approval, the company has been pursuing joint ventures to develop new projects and improve operational efficiency.

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