Chilean mining company Collahuasi to invest US$ 180 million in geothermal project

Alexander Richter 29 Sep 2009

Chilean mining company Minera Dona Ines de Collahuasi is planning to develop its own 30 MW geothermal power project to supply up to 10 percent of its electricity demand in the North of Chile.

In news from Chile, domestic mining company Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi (“Collahuasi”) is planning to invest around US$ 180 million. The company will begin the exploration phase of its project and the overall plan is that the geothermal power plant will supply 5 to 10 percent of the own electricity demand.

With a geothermal potential of at least 3,000 MW, Collahuasi – jointly controlled by Xstrata and AngloAmerican – wants to keep a piece of the cake.

In October 2008 concessions were granted, and during the early part of the year the company has made a series of surface exploration work to determine the possible existence of both geothermal sites in the town of Pica, Tarapacá Region, as in Ollagüe, Region Antofagasta.

“The results of these initial studies were promising, so that the second phase (which begins October 1) provides in-depth exploration, between 1,500 and 1,800 meters,” says Carlos Fimat, manager of Strategic and Energy Supplies Collahuasi.

According to the executive, the interest of the mining company is to develop a power plant to supply between 5 and 10% of their own and, while not yet determined the potential, it is estimated that the unit would have a capacity of around 30 MW.

“The development of a plant of this type involves an investment of U.S. $ 6 million per MW installed,” said Fimat, so skirt the total investment of $ 180 million.

Possible partner:Having defined the project seeks to carry out in conjunction with a specialist firm and geothermal power generation. “Currently there are several international companies are already prospecting projects in Chile and are willing to settle in case of seeing an opportunity,” adds the executive.

To make the project Collahuasi would become the first mining company in Chile in owning your own power plant based on geothermal energy (Economy & Business).”

Source: Portal Minero (in Spanish)