News: Australian mining company BHP Billiton has decided to continue with the development of four of the five blocks it has been exploring in northern Chile as part of a deal with Canadian resources company Polar Star Mining , Energy Business Review reports. BHP is already reported to have completed a preliminary assessment of the sites and will now invest AUD3.9mn (US$3.5mn) into each of the four blocks to receive a 51% share in the projects.
BMI View: We forecast Chile's mining sector will grow in 2013, albeit at a more moderate pace than in previous years. Major miners will continue to develop several large projects, though rising costs and economic uncertainty will lead to more conservative expansion and acquisition plans. We forecast Chile's mining sector will expand by 1.3% in 2013. But because of weakening commodity prices, we forecast that Chile's mining industry will see average annual growth of 1.5% from 2013 to 2017.