According to experts from Bernardo O’Higgins University, Chile could become the first producer of rare earths in Latin America by exploiting the reserves of this mineral due to its vast experience in the mining industry.
Chile could become the first producer of this rare commodity in Latin America, according to a study by Bernardo O’Higgins University, which estimated based on industry data in the Biobio region and a survey in the commune of Penco Earth thanks to its vast experience in the mining industry to exploit the reserves of this mineral, the place that Brazil occupies today.
According to UBO economist and academic Tomas Flores, “According to the data we studied, this first investment start-up could have a multiplier effect per US$300 million of GDP, for an estimated amount of US$150 million, leading to Around 400 jobs with a peak of 600 even during construction. These figures are much higher than investment projects of similar size and also indicate reduced dependence on other export products.
In addition, analysis by UBO experts also showed the multiplier effect on employment of the initiative using the coefficient estimated for mining, concluding that approximately 2,200 direct and indirect jobs would be created. It can also contribute to the development of cleaner and more sustainable technologies.
Along with the economic implications, the research highlighted the low environmental impact of exploiting these deposits, as it is a true “circular mineral harvest” where prestigious earthworks are carried out, a very different landscape from rock where explosives and crushing are used. Have to do Thus, dust in suspension is avoided and 95% of the water used is recycled. Thus, it is a non-polluting process that can be replicated in other industries as well.
Currently, the countries with the highest production are China, the United States and Australia, a select group that Chile may enter. Although rare earths are not as popular as copper and lithium, they play an important role in technology and the electromobility industry, which creates positive growth prospects.
“Chile is also in a privileged position because it has vast mining experience. In fact, in 2021, Chile will produce approximately 23% of the world’s lithium, making it the second largest producer after Australia,” Flores said. told.