October 12, 2017 / 3:08 PM / 9 months ago

Mitsui to build BHP desalination plant in Chile

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Japan’s Mitsui & Co plans to build a desalination plant for BHP Billiton Plc’s Spence copper mine in Chile, it said on Thursday.

Australian mining company BHP's new corporate logo, released to Reuters from their Melbourne, Australia, headquarters May 15, 2017. BHP/Handout via REUTERS

Mitsui is building the plant through a joint operation with Técnicas de Desalinazación de Aguas, S.A., it said in a statement.

Reuters reported on Aug. 10 that a number of other companies including a consortium of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and Spain’s Acciona had also bid on the $800 million project, but BHP had selected the Mitsui group to go ahead with bilateral negotiations, sources said.

To supply the water-intensive process of copper mining without coming into conflict with local communities, miners in the world’s top copper producer have increasingly looked to the Pacific Ocean for their needs.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Susan Thomas

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