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Loan for Caserones Copper Mine Project in Chile
Supporting Japanese Companies for Overseas Large-Scale Copper Mine Development

  • Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Overseas Investment Loans
NR/2012-93
November 26, 2012
  1. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Hiroshi Okuda) signed two loan agreements respectively amounting to 217.4 million and up to 117 million U.S. dollars (JBIC portions) with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui). The loans are cofinanced with private financial institutions.
     
  2. These loans are intended to finance the loans and investments made by Mitsui's subsidiaries for the Caserones Copper Mine Development Project in Chile undertaken by SCM Minera Lumina Copper Chile (MLCC). MLCC is a joint venture established in the Republic of Chile by Pan-Pacific Copper Co., Ltd. (PPC)*1 and Mitsui. In July this year, JBIC also provided a loan to this Project in project financing*2.
     
  3. Copper is used extensively for various products, including electric cables, electrical and electronic equipment, transport vehicles and construction materials. Thus, it is an indispensable metal for Japanese industry. Its demand is expected to rise on the global basis with growing demand in infrastructure among emerging economies, especially in China and India, and with increasing sales of hybrid and electric vehicles*3. Since Japan relies solely on imports for copper concentrates from Chile and other countries, it is an urgent challenge to secure a long-term, stable supply of copper resources through the acquisition of equity interests in copper mining farms by Japanese companies.
     
  4. Copper concentrates produced in this project are expected to be 150,000 tons per year in terms of metal content*4, which will be delivered to PPC and Mitsui, and supplied to domestic smelters. This project is expected to meet about 11% of Japan's annual demand for copper concentrate. This is the first project of Japanese companies with wholly own interests in a large-scale copper mine which undertake its development. A significance of the project is that it secures a long-term, stable supply of strategically important resources to Japan, and also enables Japanese companies to accumulate experience in overseas copper mine development and trains mining experts in Japanese companies.
     
  5. JBIC will continue to support the development and acquisition of interests in natural resources that are strategically important for Japan by drawing on its various financial facilities and schemes for structuring projects, and performing its risk-assuming function.
Note
  1. *1 A joint venture owned 66% by JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation and 34% by Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Ltd.
  2. *2 See Press Release on July 26, 2011.
  3. *3 Hybrid and electric vehicles are said to require two to three times more copper than conventional vehicles.
  4. *4 The amount of copper contained in copper concentrate. Raw copper ore usually contains 0.2-2% of copper. The product from the process in which chemicals and water are used to separate and increase copper content up to 20-40% is called copper concentrate.

 

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