Forecast for electricity consumption in the copper mining industry, 2018-2029


  • Rosana Brantes A. COCHILCO



This study forecast the copper mining industry’s electricity consumption in 2018-2029, it would increase from 22.6 to 31.9 TWh (~2.9% average annual growth). In this case, it isestimated that, in order to satisfy the copper mining industry’s demand, it would be necessary to add 1,336 MW in generating capacity between 2019 and 2029. The Antofagasta Region will continue to account for over half of the industry’s consumption, followed by the Atacama, Tarapacá and O'Higgins Regions. However, as from 2024, the share of the Atacama Region is expected to reach over 13% while that of the O’Higgins Region drops to 7%. The Tarapacá Region would show no significant change. The concentration is by far the most important source of expected consumption of electricity throughout the period, accounting for 58% in 2018 and 67% by 2029. The use of seawater is another process where electricity consumption is expected to show an important increase, rising from 4% of total consumption in 2018 to 10% in 2029 and emerging as the second most electricityintensive process. The existing operations in 2018 explain practically all the copper mining industry’s expected electricity consumption but, by 2029, potential, possible and probable projects would account for close to a quarter of its consumption. The new projects will acquire growing importance, accounting for 56% of expected consumption by 2029, up from 19% in 2018.