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Codelco to Resume Projects & Suspended Operations

Metal News - Published on Mon, 10 Aug 2020

Image Source: COVID19 Codelco
After designing a complete plan, which includes robust protocols in the field of occupational health and safety, and which is adjusted to the context of each of the localities in which its centers are located work, Codelco is preparing to resume its suspended projects and operations. The first step of this gradual and protected return will begin next week in Chuquicamata Subterránea, a project that has been suspended since June 20, when it was defined to maintain a workforce only to ensure minimum services (structural and security controls, support to the operation and basic activities), and which budgets to progressively reach its peak provision in January 2021.

In this first stage, Codelco will continue without using the Calama airport. In this way, the transfer of people coming from outside the city will be done in sealed buses from the Iquique and Antofagasta airports directly to the camp. All workers will be tested in their place of origin, prior to entering their work or traveling to Calama. The 14x14 shift systems and the use of the camp will be maintained to protect the low mobility in this city.

Reincorporating the Chuquicamata Subterránea personnel is a critical issue to complete the macroblocks in the north and south of the mine, so as not to impact the production commitments of the division and not produce effects in smaller companies, whose endowments are mainly local ( over 80%). The project has been audited twice by the regional Health authorities.

Meanwhile, the Chuquicamata smelter began heating its furnaces last weekend to resume its processes these days. This plant prepared the return to operations in coordination with the workers, such as the health tests for all the teams, its own and collaborators, in addition to other logistical, infrastructure and security definitions that ensure the return to a protected environment. It should be noted that at the end of last week the facilities were inspected by the Health and Mining Seremi, authorities that verified compliance with the sanitary measures.

Meanwhile, El Teniente's project portfolio, which includes the Andes Norte, Andesita and Diamante projects, and which temporarily halted construction on July 4, also began detailed planning for their return for the next few weeks.

Among the measures that were defined to increase protection against the coronavirus is the testing prior to entering the shifts and the habilitation of the camp for workers from outside the region, in addition to the maintenance of other complementary measures, such as the installation of hard barriers in different facilities, to avoid physical contact between staff.

Codelco reiterates its commitment to impose the highest safety standards to protect the health of workers in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, maintain operational continuity and build the future of the company to ensure maximum surpluses for Chile.

Source :

Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Mon, 10 Aug 2020
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