A Japanese-owned Chilean copper mine has brought in a US$1.1bn project finance commitment exclusively from Japanese institutions as the mine looks to develop.

Lenders to the deal include the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, HSBC’s Tokyo branch, export credit agency JBIC, Mizuho Corporate Bank and SMBC.

To top off the Japanese exposure, state insurance firm Nexi is providing guarantees for the loans.

The copper mine, set in Chile’s north, is an undertaking by Japanese joint venture Pan-Pacific Copper Co, which is comprised of interests from JX Nippon Mining and Metals Corp and Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co.

Japan doesn’t produce any copper of its own, and therefore relies on exports to service its requirements.

“Copper is used extensively for various products… it is an indispensable metal for Japanese industry,” says JBIC.

“Its demand is expected to rise across the world with growing demand in infrastructure among emerging economies and an increase in sales of hybrid and electric vehicles.

“A significant of the project is that it secures a long-term and stable supply of strategically important resources to Japan, enables Japanese firms to accumulate experience in overseas copper mine development and trains mine experts for Japanese firms.”