Codelco and Rio Tinto chiefs visit Nuevo Cobre exploration area

It is "a truly excellent project", says Rio

Credit: Codelco

Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm (second from left) is joined by Codelco president Ruben Alvarado (second from right) and other mining executives - Credit: Codelco

Representatives from Codelco and Rio Tinto conducted a site visit to the Nuevo Cobre exploration area, located in the Potrerillos mining district of Atacama, Chile.

The purpose of the visit was to gain firsthand knowledge of the district's geological background, social and mining history, and its potential for future development. Additionally, the visit aimed to assess progress on exploration activities that began in 2023 and discuss potential synergies with other company projects in the area.

The visit included participation from Codelco's Board president Máximo Pacheco, chief executive Rubén Alvarado, and other executives. Rio Tinto was represented by chief executive Jakob Stausholm and chief executive of copper, Bold Baatar.

Both companies expressed confidence in the collaborative effort and the value each brings to the joint exploration project. They emphasized their commitment to developing the project responsibly, adhering to high environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards.

Jakob Stausholm highlighted the experience that each team brings to joint exploration. " Codelco, as the largest copper producer in the world, has enormous competencies and Rio Tinto, as a global company, has others; By working together we can make a truly excellent project, not only to provide copper to the world, but to design a project that lives up to the highest ESG (environmental, social and governance) standards," he commented.

Rubén Alvarado added "the challenging thing about this business is that we have to define projects today, thinking about the needs of 15 or 20 more years; In this framework, we are confident that Nuevo Cobre will support our company's role in the global energy transition, not only because it will help us bridge the gap between supply and demand for copper that is expected at the beginning of the next decade, but because we will produce it Responsibly".

The Nuevo Cobre project, previously known as Agua de la Falda, is a partnership between Codelco (holding a 42.26% stake) and Rio Tinto. The project's focus has shifted from gold and precious metals exploration to discovering potential copper deposits. As part of the agreement, Rio Tinto will finance a seven-year exploration campaign with a total investment of US$40 million.

Discussions are underway to define drilling campaigns planned for late 2025 to early 2026. This data will be used to create a comprehensive geological resource model, forming the foundation for future engineering studies.

Situated within the Potrerillos mining district of Atacama, Chile. This region has a long history of mining activity but limited in copper. 


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