The Group’s sustainability priorities are those issues of material risk to the business, its employees and contractors, to the environment in which it operates and to the Group’s national and international stakeholders. In 2015, the Group built upon the materiality assessment carried out in 2014 addressing high risk and high impact areas. 

Specifically, the Group focused on the following:

  • implementing its new community engagement approach, strengthening its social license to operate on the basis of regular dialogue and agreed contributions to the communities in which the Group operates;
  • developing human capital – finding, developing and maintaining a high-quality and committed workforce to achieve the Group´s business strategy;
  • auditing and assessing business operations to ensure safe work practices and strengthening leadership and operating procedures in higher risk areas;
  • identifying opportunities to improve the efficient use of water, energy and other natural resources; and
  • developing the first Group-wide response to climate change.

The Group's main sustainability issues are:

Protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of employees and contractors.

Despite all the efforts made to focus on safety, in 2014 the Group failed to achieve its zero fatalities goal. There were five fatalities during the year in three separate incidents. Antofagasta is well aware that achieving zero fatalities is a long journey and setbacks must not derail that process. The Group has redoubled its efforts and is striving to achieve its target in 2015.

Why it matters

Ensuring its employees’ and contractors’ health and safety is of paramount importance to the Group, as reflected in the corporate Charter of Values and the Group’s strategic objectives. Major incidents impact people’s health, company morale, reputation and production.



Building and maintaining a high quality and committed workforce.

In a world of volatile markets and talent shortages, recruitment and retention are a constant challenge. Antofagasta seeks to be a preferred employer and to achieve this the Group’s human resources strategy is to develop, promote and maintain a strong value proposition for employees.

Why it matters

The Group’s management strongly believes that internal mobility, training and professional development opportunities foster engaged employees. This increases employee retention and promotes sustained productivity and growth.


76% internal recruitment for key positions over total job openings.

Maintaining positive relations with communities near the Group's operations and investing in local development.

Community relations

Over the last few years Chile has faced growing opposition to industrial projects, often including legal action. The Group has recently adopted a new approach to stakeholder engagement and community relations, declaring a long-term commitment to enhancing local development in conjunction with public sector and other private stakeholders.

Why it matters

Both operational continuity and future growth depend on the Group’s capacity to become a preferred partner for all stakeholders, particularly its neighbouring communities. Due to the location of Los Pelambres in a narrow, populated valley, the challenge is particularly acute at this operation.


$31.3 million was invested by Antofagasta during 2014 on community projects near to its operations.

Being efficient, using sea water and ensuring the availability and quality of water for other users.

Continental water is scarce in the central and northern parts of Chile where the Group operates. The situation is aggravated by rising demand, non-sustainable practices and climate change. The mining industry is a significant consumer of water and its activities can affect not only the availability of water but its quality due to the leaching of heavy metals and sulphates from waste dumps and tailings dams.

Why it matters

Prolonged drought in central Chile is a growing concern for all stakeholders and makes water an increasingly costly key input.


Although copper production increased, water consumption decreased from 45,482 to 44,666 (’000s of m³) due to the mining division’s focus on improving water efficiency.

44% of the water used at the Group's operations is sea water.

Improving efficiency in energy use and increasing the Group's use of renewable energy sources.

High energy prices are affecting the competitiveness of the Chilean mining industry, while new power generation projects often face strong opposition from local communities and NGOs. The Group has focused on seeking sources of renewable energy for its operations and its projects.

Why it matters

Energy accounts for approximately 15% of the mining division’s operating costs and consumption will increase as production grows.


20% of the energy used at Los Pelambres is from wind power.

The Group recognises the risks and opportunities of climate change and the importance of measuring, mitigating and reducing its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. In 2014, Antofagasta Minerals emitted 2,099,912 tonnes of CO2 and the CO2 emission intensity was 2.98 tonnes of CO2 emitted per tonne of copper produced, which represents a 3.6% decrease compared to 2013.

CO2 emissions by location (tonnes of CO2 equivalent)Scope 1 Direct emissionsScope 2 indirect emissionsTotal emissions1CO2 emissions intensity2
Mining division        
Los Pelambres 173,943 454,885 628,828  1.61
Centinela Concentrates 225,013 713,253 938,266 5.43 
Centinela Cathodes Michilla 145,533 212,098 357,631 3.81 
Michilla 49,218 124,991 174,209 3.71 
Corporate Offices 208 770 978  
Total for mining division  593,915 1,505,997 2,099,912 2.98 
Transport division  96,321 2,043 98,364 13.473 
Water division 2,944 25,864 28,808 0.574 
Total Antofagasta 693,180 1,533,904 2,227,084 420.975 


1 Scope 1 + Scope 2.
2 Total CO2 emissions per tonne of fine copper produced (scopes 1 and 2).
3 Tonnes CO2 e/kiloton transported.
4 Tonnes CO2 e/Mm3 water volume sold.
5 Antofagasta’s Intensity figure against 2013 turnover

Identifying, preventing and managing the Group's operations' environmental impact on air quality, water quality and availability, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Mining operations generate significant quantities of waste rock, spent ore, leached minerals and tailings. As a result, natural habitats, local vegetation and animal species can be affected. Antofagasta has a strong track record in preventing and managing this impact while striving to add environmental value wherever possible.

Why it matters

The Group’s legal permits, social licence to operate and reputation depend on its ability to prevent and manage any negative impact of its operations. Even when an operational incident has a limited environmental impact, it can damage community relations and trust between the Group and its stakeholders.


Zero incidents with environmental impact in 2014.


Our growth strategy is based around three pillars