The mining industry in Chile improves its productivity
Located in the Atacama desert, these two mining centers are looking for productivity gains in the face of worldwide price levels which are relatively close to their ROI threshold.
These long-standing H. Briones MCC customers naturally turn to Schneider Electric when they need to upgrade their facilities. The Chuquicamata mine alone, the world's largest copper mine, has been consuming more than USD 1 million worth of products and equipment annually during the past two years. New investment projects concern compliance with environmental protection laws, a very sensitive issue in Chile. Companies also reclaim extracted sub-products such as molybdenum, something the European special steel industry is very fond of.
"At present, all projects are put on hold when copper prices drop below USD 0.70 a pound," explained the Electrical Manager for Pucobre, near Copiaco. "It is therefore necessary to find a way to lower production costs. Electrical refining technology after washing of agglomerates is now well established and makes it possible to even reclaim waste from the previous decade which contains concentrates that we were not able to extract at the time."
The mining industry represents 8% of the country's GDP and 40% of Chilean exports. It accounts for close to 30% of Schneider Electric in Chile's sales. This is why Schneider Electric in Chile has chosen this year to open new sales offices in Calama and Copiapo, in the heart of the mining basin, thus putting Schneider Electric in a very good competitive position.