The damage to SMEs after Codelco’s decision – Energy Magazine







President Boric’s decision to prematurely close the Ventanas Smelter of the state-owned Codelco will make the transfer of minerals and concentrates between the fourth and seventh regions more expensive.

Santiago de Chile.- The Mining Chamber of Chile insists on its concern regarding the closure of Codelco’s Ventanas Smelter. “Undoubtedly, the announcement of the agreement and the end of the Codelco workers’ strike is good news for the state company and for the country,” said the President of the Chilean Mining Chamber, Miguel Zauschkevich Domeyko.

However, the representative warned of an increase in costs in many aspects with the decision to close the foundry. “Around 50% of the minerals and concentrates that arrive at Ventanas come from small and medium-sized mining, having previously been processed in Enami and private plants, which cover a geographic area from the Fourth to the Seventh regions; diverting them to other smelters will cause the cost of transportation to increase considerably for these producers”, he indicated.

He added that the source of work for related services, such as suppliers, contractors, carriers, mechanical workshops, food and accommodation services, among others, will be seriously affected.

Zauschkevich specified that, although the closure is not immediate, a solution must be given not only to all the people who work in Windows, but also to all the actors mentioned above.

“That is why it is imperative that all the actors that have been mentioned be included in the work table that was announced, since the productive chain of this activity is transcendent. To which must be added the socio-economic impact on the communities of Quinteros and Puchuncaví. what has been pointed out by the authorities of the area. The levels of sulfur, arsenic and particulate matter have steadily decreased over the years, so we do not understand the reason for this decision; we need to have all the technical-economic background of the case,” Zauschkevich asserted.

It should be noted that in the location of the Ventanas industrial park there are four additional companies, these are ENAP, OXIQUIM. AES GENER and GASMAR, which also contribute polluting elements, for which the President of the trade association asked, why has only the closure of the Ventanas smelter been decreed?

The Chilean Mining Chamber called on the authorities to weigh up this multitude of factors, which it estimates will cause a serious socio-economic impact; “We must find the technical-economic solution that allows us to protect the environment and at the same time preserve labor sources such as the continued development of Chilean engineering. Indeed, with the closing of the Ventanas smelter, 60 years of Chilean engineering experience will come to an end, that is, two generations of technicians and engineers, which we consider regrettable”, Zauschkevich ended by expressing.

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