- Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Overseas Investment Loans
January 26, 2010
- The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; President & CEO: Hiroshi Watanabe)*1 signed on 25 a loan agreement totaling up to 245 million US dollars with Minera Los Pelambres (Los Pelambres), a Chilean corporation, to finance the Los Pelambres Copper Mine Expansion Project (hereafter "the Project").
- Under the Project, Los Pelambres, owned by Antofagasta PLC (60%), a company incorporated in the United Kingdom and listed on the London Stock Exchange, Nippon Mining & Metals Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., has undertaken the expansion of the Los Pelambres copper mine in Region IV, Republic of Chile, to increase its capacity to produce copper concentrate (by approximately 370,000 tons annually) from the first quarter of 2010. In addition to the existing supply of copper concentrate, Japanese firms will take delivery of approximately 180,000 tons from this increased portion.
- Copper is a raw material extensively used for various products, including electric cables, electrical machineries, transport vehicles such as automobiles, and construction materials. Japan solely relies on imports for all of its copper concentrate (approximately 5.05 million tons in 2007), from which copper cathode is produced. In particular, imports from Chile account for 43% of its total imports. To this day, JBIC has supported several copper mine projects in The Republic of Chile. For example, aside from the Project, JBIC financed the Minera Escondida Copper Mine Development Project, as well as the expansion of the same project. In May 2009, JBIC provided a loan for the Esperanza Copper Mine Development Project owned by Antofagasta PLC (70%) and Marubeni Corporation (30%).
- In the face of pressure due to a sharp increase in copper concentrate demand in the People's Republic of China and Republic of India, Japan is increasingly urged to secure copper concentrate. By providing this loan, JBIC aims to help Japanese firms secure a long-term and stable supply of resources that are essential for Japanese firms. JBIC will keep providing financial support to facilitate the development and acquisition of strategically important resources through project structuring and risk-taking functions that draw on its various financial facilities.