Spanish firm Solarpack will build a solar energy park to supply power for the Collahuasi copper mine in northern Chile, the consortium that runs the mine said Tuesday.
The solar installation will meet around 13 percent of the daytime power needs of the world's third-biggest copper mine while averting 43,000 tons of year of CO2 emissions, Collahuasi management said.
The 25 MW park at the mine in the Tarapaca region is expected to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2013.
As part of the deal, Collahuasi secures preferential rights to purchase additional power from another planned Solarpack installation in northern Chile.
The decision to use solar power demonstrates the mine's commitment to sustainable development, Collahuasi directors Roberto Darouiche and Miguel Angel Duran said in a statement.
For the Spanish company, the contract "represents a new impulse to our international trajectory and management of solar photovoltaic parks," Solarpack's Pablo Burgos said.
Collahuasi and Solarpack also agreed to collaborate in creating a solar-power research and development center near the mine.
Global giants Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc hold equal 44 percent shares of Collahuasi. The remaining 12 percent belongs to Japan's Mitsui. EFE