Chile approves BHP’s $2.5 billion Spence copper expansion

Chile approves BHP’s $2.5 billion Spence copper expansion

Chilean authorities have approved BHP’s (ASX:BHP) US$2.5 billion expansion of its Spence copper, according to a local paper.

El Mercurio reported that Chile’s Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA) has unanimously approved the project, which is currently the second largest mining investment under evaluation in the South American country.

However, the Australian mining major has not yet decided whether it will go ahead with the large scale project and will decide in August.

The proposed expansion at Spence, which produced 167,000 tonnes of copper in 2016, would include the construction of a concentrator that would allow the mine to increase production while extending its useful life by 20 years.

It’s estimated the Spence project will generate about 4,100 temporary jobs and 220 permanent positions, and would add about 200,000 tonnes of copper a year to the company’s output in its first decade.

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