SANTIAGO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Chile expects $74 billion in
mining investment in the next decade, driven mainly by the
copper industry, the country´s top exporter, state copper agency
Cochilco, said on Wednesday.
The roster of investments includes sprawling projects from
such top global miners as Antofagasta Plc, Lundin
Mining Corp, Teck Resources Ltd and Kinross
Gold Corp. But the agency noted that 23 projects valued
at $44 billion have been delayed because of coronavirus.
Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica said that the copper
industry represents 89.4% of the country´s total investments,
and said he was nonetheless optimistic about the big investments
soon to come.
"Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has strongly
impacted the economy, employment and future projections, the
mining sector has continued to be a (driver)," Prokurica told
Cochilco said the lithium industry is also poised to expand
as demand increases for the white metal, a key ingredient in the
batteries that power electric vehicles.
(Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing
by Cynthia Osterman)