Authors: Araneda, O

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This paper is hosted with the kind permission of the Universidad de Chile, Eighth International Conference & Exhibition on Mass Mining, 2020.


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Araneda, O 2020, 'Codelco: present, future and excellence in projects', in R Castro, F Báez & K Suzuki (eds), MassMin 2020: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference & Exhibition on Mass Mining, University of Chile, Santiago, pp. 1-9,

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Codelco since its inception has been the world’s biggest copper producer. During 2019, production totalled 1,706 thousand tonnes of copper, a figure that represents 8% of world production and 29% of national production. Through almost 50 years of history, Codelco’s contribution has been relevant to the development of Chile, generating, for example, pre-tax profits equivalent to 8.5% of fiscal revenues and 20% of Chilean exports. To ensure its contribution for the following 50 years, Codelco must overcome many challenges, some of them common to the mining industry, others related to its own assets and perspectives. In the first group of challenges: declining ore grades, deeper deposits, climate change, increasing regulations, higher sustainability standards, and intense social scrutiny can be listed. On the second group, Codelco is facing the closing of many of its productive sectors. Toward year 2030, 76% of our copper production will be generated by projects currently under study or under construction. Considering this complex outlook, in 2019, Codelco commenced a profound business transformation to reposition itself among the most competitive, sustainable and profitable copper producers in the world. In this frame, Codelco aims to deliver additional pre-tax profits of US$ 1,000 million, starting in 2021, taking 2018 as the base. In addition, Codelco has committed to reduce its investment portfolio by US$8,000 million in 2019-2028, without neglecting the most relevant projects. Excellence in projects is one of our strategic priorities and lean philosophy is in its core, by considering it from design through execution. Our projects portfolio is taking full advantage of digital transformation and technological innovations, aligned with our CAPEX reduction goals and our sustainability policy. To be successful in this endeavour, Codelco requires an unprecedented cultural and construction capacity transformation, developed internally and with our stakeholders, promoting new ways of learning and working in a collaborative environment. The Chuquicamata Underground project and El Teniente portfolio demonstrate how this strategic vision is becoming a reality.

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