Minera Zaldívar, from the Antofagasta Minerals group, entered the Environmental Impact Assessment System ( SEIA ) the project “ Extension Useful Life with Water Transition ”, an initiative that could potentially extend its operations until 2051 thanks to the exploitation of new mineral resources identified by the company.

As detailed by general manager Zaldívar, Leonardo González, “ in water terms the project proposes a new source of water supply for Minera Zaldívar, which would consist of unsalted seawater coming from the Caleta del Cobre area, located in the Antofagasta commune, or from another long-term and sustainable alternative source. However, due to the times required for the implementation of a new water supply source, the project contemplates a transition period”.

Regarding this transition period, the executive specified that the project proposes that the Company continue to use part of the water rights it has in the Negrillar area, maintaining its current operational extraction rate of 212.75 l / s until June 2028. Then, from July 2028, Minera Zaldívar would start its operation with water from an alternative source to the current and long term.

“ These dates considered in the project are not random, since they contemplate the minimum deadlines to carry out the environmental procedure, obtain the corresponding sectoral permits and build the required infrastructure to be able to use another source of water supply. Therefore, this limited and transitional period of water supply from Negrillar is essential for the success of the project and, in this way, to be able to maintain the operation and contribution of Minera Zaldívar ”, explained Leonardo González.

Regarding the mining operation, the project would allow extend the useful life of the Company from 2025 to potentially 2051, to then start its closure plan until 2054. With an estimated investment of US $ 1.2 billion, the proposal seeks to maintain the currently authorized production capacity.

It should be noted that extend the operations of Minera Zaldívar means maintaining the job source of more than 4,000 people, which adds to the value that the Company gives to the economy of the Antofagasta region through the promotion of various productive chains. En 2022, goods and service contracts for more than US $ $ 62 million were awarded to 158 suppliers from different locations in the Antofagasta region.