2315 GMT [Dow Jones]--The economics of an expansion of BHP's majority-owned Escondida copper mine in Chile "are compelling," and the miner would benefit from forging ahead with an expansion of both concentrator and heap leach capacity, Goldman Sachs analysts Paul Young and Caleb Heiner say in a note. An expansion of the mining operation, part owned by Rio Tinto, could cost about $8 billion, but it could also increase copper output by roughly 20% and keep volumes above 1 million metric tons annually to 2035, the analysts say. Project returns could be around 20%, they add. Young and Heiner say that while they already include an expansion at Escondida in their base case estimates for BHP and Rio Tinto, Visible Alpha data seem to suggest it isn't baked into consensus forecasts. (rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com)

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 11, 2023 19:40 ET (23:40 GMT)

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