Port Construction in the Atacama Region of Chile is Authorized

MPX Energia S.A. and MMX Mineração e Metálicos S.A. announced today that the Comisión Regional de Medio Ambiente (COREMA) of the Atacama Region in Chile has authorized the construction of a new port (“Port” or “Project”), located 80 km to the southwest of the city of Copiapó.

The Port is licensed to OMX Operaciones Marítimas, an EBX Group company. The Project, which will employ world-class technology, consists of the construction and operation of a public use port with three independent piers that will allow the loading and unloading of up to 6 million tons of coal per year and 10 million tons per year of iron ore, among other products. The port has a natural depth of 25 meters and will also include storage facilities for coal, iron ore, ash, copper and grains, as well as a covered conveyor belt system.

The construction of the port is expected to take approximately 30 months to complete, following a total estimated investment of US$ 300 million. The construction schedule of each pier will be adjusted according to the startup dates of MPX and MMX’s projects, as well as other projects planned for the region.

“This port will guarantee efficient coal supply to the Castilla Thermal Power Plant (“TPP”) at a competitive cost. With up to 2100 MW of capacity, Castilla TPP is one of the largest projects currently under license in Chile and an important growth platform for MPX in this country,” said Eduardo Karrer, MPX CEO.

Roger Downey, MMX CEO, added: “Logistics is the key component of any iron ore system. The license of the Port is a major achievement in the development of our 10 million tons per year project in Chile, which will be thus one of the most competitive additions to seaborne supply. Similarly to Sudeste System, the MMX Chile Project has 50% of the production target already backed by long term offtake agreements.”


Source: mpx, December 24, 2010

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