Top 5 mining products in Chile

The main mining products in Chile, in terms of share in world production, are copper, iodine, lithium, molybdenum and silver. In particular, Codelco, a state-owned company, is the largest copper producer in the world.According to a World Trade Organization (WTO) report, Chile is the world’s leading producer of copper and iodine, the second of lithium and molybdenum, and the fourth of silver. Mining, led by copper, accounted for more than half of Chile’s total merchandise exports in 2022. Codelco is a mining company wholly owned by the State. Codelco’s corporate purpose is to maximize the value of its mineral resources for the benefit of its shareholder, the Republic of Chile, by fully developing its vast mineral resources in a timely manner, leveraging its labor expertise, utilizing its advanced technological assets in key areas and executing strategic initiatives related to five aspects, according to the Chilean government.

  1. Capital expenditure program.
  2. Operations improvement.
  3. Exploration efforts. 
  4. Investment in human capital.
  5. Mining partnerships with third parties. 

As part of its strategy to increase production and revenues, Codelco has undertaken several projects, commercial ventures and partnerships with mining and non-mining private sector companies.

Mining products in Chile

The State is the sole owner of all minerals in its territory, although it allows national or foreign companies to carry out activities in the sector through a system of mining concessions, or administrative concessions and special operating contracts in the case of hydrocarbons and lithium. Mining in Chile is characterized by an important presence of the State, through two public companies: Codelco for large-scale mining and Empresa Nacional de Minería (ENAMI) for small and medium mining. Also, according to the WTO, Chile maintains a copper reserve for the domestic manufacturing industry in order to ensure its supply; in 2022 nine companies were supplied through this reserve. In May 2023, the National Congress approved a bill establishing a new Mining Royalty for companies with annual copper sales above a certain threshold, comprised of a 1% ad valorem tax on sales and an ad valorem tax of between 8% and 26% on mining operating income. This law has not yet been enacted.


Redacción Opportimes