Chilean state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, will meet the growing environmental demands established in the South American country to materialize its ambitious project portfolio, the chairman of the board, Máximo Pacheco, told Reuters.
The former minister appointed by President Gabriel Boric to lead the copper table, explained in an interview that it cannot continue to operate in the same way as years ago and more and more contribution is expected from large-scale mining for the care of the environment. .
“It is not only complying with the new regulations, but also having a true, sincere commitment to this environmental objective,” said the executive, listing examples of priorities such as the recirculation of water in the tailings dams and the adoption of clean energy in all its processes.
“In general, all large copper mining in Chile has a tremendous challenge in how we do mining with environmental protection,” he added. In recent days, the company announced the controversial closure of the Ventanas smelter, located in a saturated industrial area of the central coast, which even led to a brief strike of workers.
The company itself has set environmental goals for 2026 such as reducing greenhouse gases by almost two thirds and 25% of particulate matter, in addition to others such as recycling more than half of industrial waste and monitoring tailings and possible leaks.
“No one consumes more electricity than us and we have to reach 2026 without electricity from fossil sources,” he stressed as another of the goals that he set himself to achieve.
Pacheco said some of the environmental catch-up goals will require additional investment in contracting out services.