BHP looks for concession ahead of $10 billion investment in Chile

April 20, 2023

BHP Group said that it would like to proceed with a $10 billion investment in Chile, but is looking to Chile’s government to make further concessions on a tax bill that is currently under debate in the Senate.

Bloomberg reported that changes to the bill have been made to bring down the average effective tax rate to an estimated 46 percent. BHP’s President Minerals Americas Ragnar Udd told reporters in Santiago that Chile’s major competitors have a tax burden somewhere between 41 and 44 percent.

Before it makes the investment, BHP said it is looking for fiscal stability, regulatory certainty and an end to “excessive” permitting times in order to unlock the copper needed for the global clean-energy transition. BHP “would desperately like to make investments in Chile,” with an expansion at the giant Escondida mine “an obligation,” Udd said.

Chile’s Mining Minister Marcela Hernando said that the government is confident it can smooth out differences with the mining industry before a vote on the royalty bill in congress.

Melbourne-based BHP is examining options with communities to tap “a fantastic sulfide deposit” at Cerro Colorado, but that will take years to get off the ground, Udd said. In the meantime, the mine will shut at the end of the year with the expiration of permits.

At its stalled Resolution project in the United States, BHP is committed to working with partner Rio Tinto Group and communities to understand if there’s a pathway forward, Udd said.

 Photo courtesy of BHP. 


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