SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

Industrial Info Resources

March 17, 2010 05:00 ET

Chilean Reconstruction to Require Billions in Industrial Spending, a "Navigating the Currents of Change" Webcast on

SUGAR LAND, TX--(Marketwire - March 17, 2010) - Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- Attendees at next month's Expomin 2010 convention in Santiago, Chile, will have a chance to personally assess the nation's need for reconstruction and repair following a series of earthquakes in late February and early March. Expomin 2010, the world's largest mining convention, is expected to draw up to 60,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors, including Industrial Info. Expomin 2010 will run April 12-16.

On February 27, the city of Concepción, located about 270 miles south of Santiago, was rocked by a magnitude 8.8 earthquake. On March 11, three separate earthquakes, the largest having a reported magnitude of 6.9, rocked central Chile as its new president, Sebastián Piñera, was being sworn in. The epicenter of the March 11 earthquakes was about 90 miles south of Santiago.

It has been estimated that up to tens of billions of dollars of reconstruction projects will be needed to repair Chile's damaged industrial projects and rebuild the nation's infrastructure following these disasters. The late-February earthquake and ensuing tsunami killed more than 500 Chileans, flattened buildings in Concepción, destroyed bridges and roads, and briefly closed Chile's mines and its international airport. The earthquake was felt approximately 630 miles away in Cordoba, Argentina, the location of Industrial Info Latinoamerica's headquarters.

Chile is the world's largest producer of copper. Although the Feb. 27 earthquake caused extensive damage to Chile's infrastructure in the area surrounding Concepción, there was no serious damage reported to the nation's mines, according to Industrial Info Latinoamerica. The mines most affected are located south of Santiago. Iron ore producer Compania Aceros del Pacifico said it was forced to close its Huachipato steel unit, which is expected to resume operations in about three months. Also damaged was the Yamana Gold Minera Florida, which produces gold and silver.

"Chile's copper mines were closed for a day or two after the Feb. 27 earthquake," said Dolores Frias, president of Industrial Info Latinoamerica, which is Industrial Info's Latin American affiliate. "Also, the commissioning of the $1 billion expansion project at Chile's Los Pelambres copper mine, which was supposed to be completed during the second quarter, will be delayed by several months."

Most of Chile's key mining operations are based in the northern part of the country and were spared any damage. However, there are concerns about repairing the country's energy supply and transportation infrastructure. "There is a lot of infrastructure rebuilding that will be needed," said Joe Govreau, Industrial Info's vice president of research for the Metals & Minerals industry.

"Chile's oil refining industry also was affected by the earthquakes," continued Frias. "Chile's state-owned oil company, ENAP, owns three refineries. The largest refinery, Concepcion Bio-Bio Refinery, which processes 116,000 barrels of oil per day, was closed and will resume operations in two or three months." The nation's smallest refinery was not affected, but the mid-sized Concon Aconcagua refinery, which processes 104,000 barrels of oil per day, had to close its doors for a few weeks. That refinery expects to restart operations in the coming days, Frias said.

Among the hardest-hit segments of the Chilean economy were the electric power, telecommunications, and transportation infrastructure, which will require extensive rebuilding, she continued. Colbun, Chile's second-largest power generator, suspended construction of its Santa Maria I generator project (350 megawatts) and two hydroelectric power plants until safe working conditions could be restored.

"South America is one of the world's most vibrant and strongest-growing markets for metals and minerals mining," observed Govreau. "We're currently tracking $338 billion of mining projects throughout the Americas. About half of that activity is in South America. Demand has been strongest for copper, gold, and iron ore, driven by growth in China, Asia and India."

Industrial Info recently produced its 1st Edition wall map of the South American Mining Industry, which documents 344 major operational mines and an additional 140 mines under development in South America.

The recent earthquakes have not affected plans for the Expomin 2010 mining convention in Santiago on April 12-16. Industrial Info will be exhibiting at Booth 614-2 at ExpoMin 2010.

"We're looking forward to exhibiting at Expomin 2010. We're also very excited about our expanded coverage of the Metals & Minerals industry," said Govreau.

Click here to join Joe Govreau and Dolores Frias for a discussion of the current situation in Chile and Expomin 2010 on this special edition of "Navigating the Currents of Change" on

Industrial Info Resources (IIR) is the leading provider of global market intelligence specializing in the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy markets. IIR's quality-assurance philosophy, the Living Forward Reporting Principle™, provides up-to-the-minute intelligence on what's happening now, while constantly keeping track of future opportunities. For more information send inquiries to or visit us at Follow us on: Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - Vimeo

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