Copper production concerns cloud Chile’s future as election approaches

Working at the world's largest underground copper mine, near Sewell in the Chilean Andes (photo: dpa)
Working at the world's largest underground copper mine, near Sewell in the Chilean Andes (photo: dpa)

Chile is the most stable democratic nation in the Southern Hemisphere and a favourite of the developed world. Its government has benefited massively from the soaring price of copper – it is the world’s largest producer. But now that price has fallen, the quality of the available ore is diminishing and production costs in the industry are soaring. The winner of this year’s presidential elections will have plenty of problems to overcome.

CHILE was the darling of investors over the first decade of this century, receiving significant income from high copper prices fuelled by intense demand, mainly from China.

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But its appeal is waning a...

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