Chile's public works minister says the country is considering a 14-mile (23-kilometer) tunnel through the Andes to speed trade with Argentina.

Sergio Bitar says the tunnel proposed by an Argentine-Brazilian consortium would cost about US$2.3 billion. It would serve train and truck transport.

The plan calls for a tunnel at an altitude of about 8,250 feet (2,500 meters). It would replace an old, narrow tunnel at a higher altitude that is often blocked by snow.

Bitar told reporters on Wednesday that the presidents of Chile and Argentina are interested in the plan.