Mitsui agrees desalination project for Chile copper mine

Japanese firm Mitsui & Co. Ltd has announced that Caitan SpA, its joint venture with Técnicas de Desalinazación de Aguas SA (part of Spain’s ACS Group), will build a desalination plant for the BHP Spence copper mine in northern Chile.

Australian resources company BHP recently announced a capital expenditure of US$2.46 billion to extend the mine's life by more than 50 years.

Under the agreement, Caitan will supply fresh water to Spence for a 20-year period. The project, located in the area of Antofagasta in the north of Chile, involves the construction of a 1,000 litre/second desalination plant and a pipeline of approximately 150 km in length to transport the water to the mine.

The plant is scheduled to commence operation in the second quarter of 2020.