Minera Antucoya signs deal with ENGIE Energia Chile to go 100% renewable

Minera Antucoya, a subsidiary of Antofagasta Minerals, has signed a long-term agreement with ENGIE Energia Chile SA making it the second operation in the Group that will only use energy from renewable sources to produce copper.

Through this agreement, for about 300 GWh/year, Antucoya will be the second large scale mining operation, after Zaldivar – both of which are part of the Antofagasta Minerals group – that will use only renewable sources to supply its energy needs. This is another step in the Group’s progress in achieving its goal to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 300,000 tonnes by the end of 2022.

Leonardo Gonzalez, General Manager of Minera Antucoya, said “This agreement with ENGIE, takes over an important part our challenges. As a company we not only focus on production and fulfilling our targets, but on how we develop mining, which is also very important to us. This contract, will enable us not only to be more competitive, but also makes us the second Chilean mining operation to formally commit to using 100% renewable energy”

The new agreement, which will begin in January 2022 and has a term of eleven years, requires ENGIE to certify that the energy used by Antucoya comes from renewable sources that do not generate emissions, and this must be verified by an external body.

According to Axel Leveque from ENGIE Energia Chile, “Consolidating our leading position in an energy transition scenario in our country and the world, in 2018 we reached agreement with some of our main mining clients, which included the addition of contracts to supply energy from renewable sources. In this context this agreement is very important to us as it strengthens our long-term relationship with a strategic client such as Antofagasta Minerals, with whom we have had a commercial relationship for 25 years”.

Ivan Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta Minerals said, “We are taking another step in achieving our goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. We are pleased that two of our mining operations are the first in Chile to operate using only energy from clean sources, and this is in addition to the progress we have made at Los Pelambres where 59% of its energy is renewable energy. We will continue on this path as we believe this is a concrete way to mitigate climate change.”

This renewable energy contract will replace GHG emissions equivalent to 134,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, which is comparable to removal of about 36,000 cars.

ENGIE Energia Chile SA is part of the ENGIE group, which in Chile participates in energy generation and transmission, gas transport and port infrastructure. Currently it is the largest energy generation and transmission company in the Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING). In Chile, it is the fourth largest energy generation company with a gross installed capacity of 1,928 MW. As part of the energy transition process in Chile, the company has an asset rotation plan that includes the development of renewable projects – solar and wind – of about 1,000 MW. In this context, the company has been negotiating contracts with its mining and industrial clients, to supply energy from renewable sources.

Minera Antucoya is a mining operation about 125 km northeast from Antofagasta city. The operation started in 2016 and produces approximately 70,000 tonnes of copper per year using raw seawater in its processes. Antofagasta Minerals owns 70% and Marubeni Corporation owns the remaining 30%.