Chilean government moves to require desalination in mining operations

Jan. 3, 2014

VALPARAISO, Chile — The proposed bill is meant to address increasing industry demand and decreasing water supply.

VALPARAISO, Chile — Chile's government has introduced a bill that will make it mandatory for mining operations to incorporate desalinated seawater into their operations, according to an article on

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The law would apply to mine companies that use over 150 liters of water per second to provide a solution to increasing industry demand and decreasing water supply, the article reported.

Mining companies including BHP's Escondida, Freeport-McMoRan's El Abra, the Radomiro Tomic and Chuquicamata divisions of state-owned copper miner Codelco have already included desalination plants at their facilities, noted the article.

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According to the article, the problem posed by the bill is that costs of desalination in Chile are currently twice as expensive as in the United States and Mexico.

Read the full article here.

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