LMEWEEK-No more funds for Chile copper producer Codelco for now - minister

lunes 12 de octubre de 2015 09:02 GYT

* Government has pledged $4 bln until 2020

* Codelco needs $25 bln for investment over five years

* Minister expects higher Chile copper output in 2016 (Adds more quotes, details)

By Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Angus Berwick

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Chile's government is not planning for now to give more funds to state-run copper producer Codelco, the world's No.1 supplier of the metal, having already pledged $4 billion until 2020, its mining minister told Reuters on Monday.

Codelco, though, has said it needs to invest $25 billion over five years to dig deeper at new and existing sites and keep production flowing.

"At the moment what is important is that Codelco is sufficiently capitalised from year to year," Mining Minister Aurora Williams said on the sidelines of LME Week in London.

"Over the five years the amount cannot exceed $4 billion, since this is what is established in a law passed by the Chilean congress."

Codelco hands it profits to the state, and is funded in part by the return of some profit and in part by issuing debt. But with copper prices at a six-year-low, the cash-strapped government has so far promised just $4 billion in returned profits between 2015 and 2020.   Continuación...