SANTIAGO, Jul 13, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- The mining industry will likely invest a total of $50 billion in Chilean copper and gold projects in 2010-2015, which will increase output by 35% in 2020, state copper studies commission Cochilco said Tuesday.
Chile already produces about one-third of the world's copper annually, or around 5.4 million metric tons of the red metal.
Of the $50 billion investment pipeline, some $41.4 billion is earmarked for copper-mining projects and the remaining $8.6 billion is destined for gold projects, according to Cochilco.
With the increase in investments, which Cochilco said is the largest ever for a five-year period, the country's copper production will jump to 7.3 million tons a year in 2020.
The $50 billion will be invested in both new projects expected to come online before 2020 and in expansions at existing copper mines to either maintain or increase output, the commission said.
As for the country's gold production, Chile will likely be producing about 110 to 120 tons of the precious metal a year in 2015. The South American nation currently produces about 40 tons of gold a year.