Loan for Escondida Copper Mine Expansion Project in Chile
Supporting Japanese Companies' Long-term and Stable Procurement of Copper Concentrate

  • Area: Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Overseas Investment Loans

 
June 8, 2017
  1. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Akira Kondoh) signed on June 6 (New York City time) a loan agreement amounting up to USD300 million (JBIC portion) with Minera Escondida Limitada (MEL), a Chilean company, for financing the expansion project of Escondida Copper Mine. The loan is cofinanced with The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (Administrative Agent), Mizuho Bank, Ltd., and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. The overall cofinancing amount is USD500 million.
     
  2. This loan is intended to provide long-term finance to the expansion project of the Escondida Copper Mine in Región de Antofagasta, Chile, the world's largest copper mine. This is undertaken by MEL, a company invested in by Mitsubishi Corporation, JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, BHP Group, and Rio Tinto Group. The loan is expected to increase the production capacity of copper concentrate from the latter half of 2017.
     
  3. Copper is used extensively for various products, including electric cables, electrical and electronic equipment, transport vehicles, and construction materials, thus making it an indispensable metal for Japanese industries. Since Japan relies solely on imports for copper concentrate from Chile and other countries, it has been an urgent task to secure a long-term, stable supply of copper resources through the possession of equity interests in copper mining firms by Japanese companies.
     
  4. MEL is currently supplying a significant proportion of copper concentrate production to Japanese smelters. The loan contributes to the continuity of supply over the long term for a grade of product that is strategically important in the Japanese market because of its low level impurities and high copper content.
     
  5. JBIC will continue to actively support further development and acquisition of mineral resources by Japanese companies.
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