The mining giant BHP Group plans to transfer the world's largest copper mine in Chile exclusively to renewable energy sources, using the country's solar and wind resources. It is reported by Ecotown.
The mine located in the northern Atacama Desert accounts for about 20% of the global copper concentrate production, making Chile the leading copper producing country in the world.
During a presentation to investors, BHP’s foreign affairs chief, Jeff Healy, said that the Chilean Escondida mine is in the process of transitioning from gas to 100% renewable electricity. The company is in the final stages of concluding a long-term contract for “green” electricity. The supplier has not yet been called.
This energy transition “will provide significant cost savings compared to the current gas-based energy supply”. In addition, the company invested about $4 billion in desalination units to provide environmentally sustainable water supplies of developments and in the medium term will completely stop the consumption of local fresh water supplies.
Last year, the Chilean state-owned mining company La Empresa Nacional de Minería de Chile (ENAMI) entered into a contract with the Spanish energy company Acciona, within which energy companies are committed to fully supplying miners with electricity exclusively on the basis of renewable energy sources.
In 2013, a law was passed in Chile that by 2025 20% of the country's energy should be produced from renewables. This has led to a sharp increase in the number of renewable energy projects.
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