Loan for Los Pelambres Copper Mine Expansion in Chile
Supporting Japanese Companies' Long-term, Stable Supplies of Copper Concentrate
- Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Overseas Investment Loans
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC, Governor: Tadashi Maeda) signed on March 27 a loan agreement for up to USD 425 million (JBIC portion) with the Chilean corporation Minera Los Pelambres (MLP) to finance the expansion of the Los Pelambres copper mine. The loan is co-financed with private financial institutions.
This loan is intended to provide long-term financing for the capital investment required to build an additional concentrator and desalinated water supply facilities to reinforce the ore processing capacity at the Los Pelambres copper mine, located in the Coquimbo Region in Chile. The project will be undertaken by MLP, which is owned by UK-listed Antofagasta PLC, JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Marubeni Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation*1
Copper is used extensively for various products, including electric cables, electrical and electronic equipment, vehicles and construction materials. Thus, it is an essential metal for Japanese industries. Its demand is expected to continue rising globally along with increasing demand in infrastructure in emerging countries, especially in China and India, and with increasing sales of hybrid and electric vehicles*2
Since Japan relies solely on imports for copper concentrates, it is an urgent challenge to secure a long-term, stable supply of copper resources. The Strategic Energy Plan (released in July 2018) set the goal of achieving at least 80% self-sufficiency for base metals by 2030. This project supports the additional development of a copper mine in which Japanese companies hold interests and, as such, is in line with the Japanese government's policies.
As Japan's policy-based financial institution, JBIC will continue to actively support Japanese companies' development and procurement of minerals and other natural resources and provide financing to ensure a stable mineral resources supply to Japan by drawing on its various financial facilities and schemes for structuring projects and performing its risk-assuming function.
Hybrid and electric vehicles typically require two to three times more copper than conventional vehicles.