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Chile's Zaldivar mine to operate with 100% renewable energy

A copper mine in Chile has become the first mine to operate with 100% renewable energy.

Antofagasta Minerals has announced that it has signed a long-term contract between Zaldivar (in which it owns 50% of the company) and Colbun S.A.

The contract will see the Zaldivar copper mine supplied with clean energy, removing emissions equivalent to 350,000 tons of greenhouse gasses per year.

In supplying 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, which will be equivalent to about 87,000 vehicles per year.

"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”, said the CEO of Antofagasta Minerals, Iván Arriagada.


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"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”, said Thomas Keller, CEO of Colbún.

Minera Zaldívar is owned equally by Barrick Gold Corp. and Antofagasta Minerals, who is the operator. In 2017, it produced 103,000 tonnes of copper cathodes. Located at more than 3,300 meters above sea level, in the Antofagasta region.