Struggle for competitiveness: an industry perspective for the nineties

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 85, No. 958, 1992

H. Bannach, Codelco-Chile, Chuquicamata Division Chuquicamata, Chile

This paper focusses on what seem to be the leading indicators of prosperity in the minerals industry during this decade: the geographical distribution of deposits, environmental impact, capital allocation and acid consumption. There is a potential for meeting environmental criteria at a reasonable profit margin, but those with limited acid demand within economic range will face hard times to meet growing environmental concerns, resulting in additional mine closures. At the other end, those with old waste dumps who are thinking about smelting capacity additions will need capital influx at a much larger rate than ever before. All things considered, a change should be made in the way the world's copper reserves are computed, because there is a growing need to internalize these effects back to the ore blocks before a meaningful estimate of reserves becomes available.