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Copper mines halted by heavy rains in Chile

Mining News - Published on Mon, 11 Feb 2019

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Bloomberg reported that heavy rains and floods that have affected the world’s top copper-producing nation for the past week are forcing companies to halt some operations. Chilean state-owned copper miner Codelco stopped work at its Chuquicamata and Ministro Hales mines on Thursday last week, while Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s El Abra mine has been halted since last Monday. The three mines are near the city of Calama in the country’s north.

Other mines in the region are running normally, according to company officials. These include Codelco’s Gabriela Mistral and Radomiro Tomic mines; and BHP Group’s Escondida and Spence. Zaldivar, which is co-owned by Antofagasta Plc and Barrick Gold Corp. is also still operating, as is Collahuasi, owned by Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc.

Strong to moderate rains and thunderstorms in northern Chile are expected to continue through Feb. 10, according to Chile’s weather service Meteochile. The storms are expected to move south, affecting the Andean and pre-Andean areas in the regions of Arica y Parinacota, Tarapaca and Antofagasta.

Cesar Perez-Novoa, an analyst at BTG Pactual in Santiago, said “This masks a larger problem because the storm has also impacted southern Peru, with an emergency declared in some areas. It is still too early to quantify the impact of these stoppages.”

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 11 Feb 2019
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