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Codelco to Increase Borrowing as Copper Giant Evaluates Major Projects

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Codelco's Plan to Increase Borrowing and Review Major Projects

Struggling copper giant Codelco has announced its intention to borrow more funds to support its extensive investment plans, despite a recent credit rating downgrade by Moody's. The company's chairman, Maximo Pacheco, stated that Codelco is "reformulating" its major projects, which have experienced delays and budget overruns. Pacheco emphasized that there is no chance of abandoning these projects, but did not rule out the possibility of further delays. Codelco's production is expected to reach its lowest point in 25 years, and the company's ability to execute its ambitious projects, requiring approximately $4 billion of investment annually, will be crucial to its future. While the Chilean government, which owns Codelco, allows the company to reinvest 30% of its annual profits, Pacheco acknowledged that this would not be sufficient to meet its investment needs at current prices. Codelco plans to bridge the funding gap through borrowing, highlighting the success of its recent bond sale. However, concerns have been raised about the company's rising debt and the risk of insolvency. Moody's downgrade reflects Codelco's weak position and challenges in restoring earnings growth. Pacheco emphasized that Codelco's main challenge lies in operational rather than financial aspects. The company is open to considering alternative forms of financing and exploring partnerships with customers, suppliers, and other entities. The project review, prompted by cost overruns and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, will involve a thorough assessment of budgets and timelines. Pacheco emphasized that these projects are crucial for the long-term sustainability of Codelco, extending the company's lifespan and ensuring continued production. In conclusion, Codelco's decision to increase borrowing and review major projects demonstrates its determination to overcome challenges and secure its future in the global mining industry. The company's ability to execute these projects successfully will be vital, as the demand for copper continues to rise, driven by the energy transition.

Implications of Codelco's Borrowing and Project Review Plans for New Businesses

Codelco's recent announcement to increase borrowing and review major projects amid a credit rating downgrade by Moody's could offer valuable insights for new businesses, particularly those in the mining industry. Despite facing operational and financial challenges, Codelco's determination to secure its future in the global mining industry is commendable and can serve as a lesson for startups facing similar hurdles. New businesses can learn from Codelco's strategic approach to managing financial constraints. The company's decision to bridge the funding gap through borrowing, despite the risk of rising debt and potential insolvency, underscores the importance of risk-taking in business. However, it also highlights the need for careful financial planning and risk assessment. Furthermore, Codelco's project review, prompted by cost overruns and delays, emphasizes the importance of regular project assessments to ensure budget and timeline adherence. For new businesses, this could mean investing in project management tools and skills to ensure efficient execution of projects. In conclusion, while Codelco's situation presents challenges, it also offers lessons in strategic planning, risk management, and project execution. New businesses can leverage these insights to navigate their own challenges and secure their future in their respective industries.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/codelco-plans-to-borrow-more-as-copper-giant-reviews-major-projects
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