Mining dominates Chile’s economy in the Antofagasta region. To promote mining activities, the Chilean government supports developing port capacity to relieve congestion near the Antofagasta port. A greenfield port has been proposed for development in Mejillones, about 50 kilometers north of Antofagasta.

Chile’s largest copper producer, Codelco, currently ships its copper cathode exports through Antofagasta but has entered into a throughput agreement with Compaa Portuaria Mejillones, S.A. to transfer its cathode exports to the proposed port.


Inter-American Development Bank, Caisse de Depots & Consignations, and Compaa Portuaria Mejillones, S.A


Conduct a market and economic analysis of the proposed Mejillones port. Identify the market demand for the port, review historical port traffic at Antofagasta, survey regional copper producers’ current and projected operations, and assess the port’s competitive environment.


  • Reviewed the structure of the regional economy and trends
  • Assessed world markets for copper
  • Reviewed the condition of port facilities and analyzed the level and composition of traffic through Antofagasta port by source of traffic and principal products.
  • Analyzed rail and road transport systems serving Antofagasta and Mejillones ports and the number size, and type of vessel calling at the ports
  • Prepared projections of port traffic for the region and assigned projected port traffic to the Antofagasta and Mejillones ports.
  • Assessed terms and conditions of build-operate-transfer contract and throughput agreement
  • Analyzed economic costs and benefits and conducted a sensitivity analysis of the economic viability of Mejillones port.
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