By Mario ScoccoThe southern copper corporation (SCC) has said it is working on developing copper nuggets as part of a wider plan to supply the country with new high-tech, energy-efficient equipment.
Copper nugget-maker Silver is the latest in a string of manufacturers to come up with new products, which they hope will provide a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative to coal.
A consortium led by Silver, based in Germany, announced last month it was planning to build a facility in Germany to produce copper nugges.
It has been in the works for the last three years and will have the capacity to produce up to 2,000kg per day.
The company said its copper nugs will be used in the power grid, water treatment, and in the automotive industry.
The plan has been supported by the government of Germany, which has been promoting its green energy strategy.
Silver CEO Andreas Tochel said the company’s goal was to make the most of the copper in the country, which is currently used in more than 60 percent of the country’s power generation.
“It is important to consider that this copper will be replaced by other elements, like copper-plated aluminium, which will also contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions,” he said.
“We will be creating a copper mine in Germany and it is our hope that this mine will produce copper in quantities that are not only sustainable but also profitable.”
Tochel declined to give an estimated cost of the project, but said it could be up to €30m ($35.4m).
Silver is a joint venture between the German firm Siemens AG and the SCC.
The SCC said it will begin with copper nuzzles, which are made of copper and have a nickel-based coating, and later develop other products, including a copper-based battery.
Silver also has plans to create a copper wire network, which could increase the supply of the material for the power industry.