PRESS RELEASE: Minera Zaldívar is owned equally by Barrick Gold Corp and Antofagasta Minerals, which is the operator. Located at more than 3,300m above sea level, in Chile's Antofagasta region, it produced 103,000t of copper cathodes in 2017.
Iván Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta Minerals, said: "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."
Thomas Keller, CEO of Colbún, added: "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."
The agreement was signed by Luis Sánchez, general manager of Minera Zaldívar, and Juan Eduardo Vásquez, manager of the business and energy management division of Colbún. The agreement will take effect in July 2020 and will last for 10 years. The award of the electricity supply bid will see Colbún certify that the energy used by Zaldívar comes from renewable sources that do not generate emissions, and this must be verified by an external body.
Sánchez commented: "This is a very important step for the future of Zaldívar, because it will help us to be more competitive. Our intention is to continue be a contributor to the region and the country, as we have been over the 23 years of our operation."
Thanks to this contract for 550GWh/year, Zaldívar will be the first copper mine in Chile that will only use sources of renewable generation to supply its electricity needs. In this way, it will be able to replace emissions equivalent to 350,000t/y of greenhouse gases, equivalent to about 87,000 vehicles per year.
According to Vázquez: "This contract will be supplied from a combination of three renewable energy sources: hydro, solar and wind, from existing power plants and future projects. These diversified technologies will not only allow us to deliver 100% renewable energy, but will also provide a reliable supply at competitive prices."