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  HOME | Chile

Codelco Says its Copper Mines Operating Normally after Powerful Chile Quake

SANTIAGO - Chilean state-owned mining giant Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, said Thursday that all but one of its mines were operating normally a day after a magnitude-8.4 earthquake shook several regions of the country and left at least eight dead.

The only division in which work remained suspended early Thursday was Andina, located in central Chile, where open-pit operations are to be halted until an inspection under natural light is concluded, Codelco said in a statement.

The company said none of its workers were injured by the quake, which struck at 7:54 p.m. Wednesday and whose epicenter was located just off the coast of the north-central region of Coquimbo.

The nearest city to the epicenter was Illapel, which is located 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Santiago.

Codelco said its mines in northern Chile - including Chuquicamata, Ministro Hales, Gaby and El Salvador - were not affected by the temblor, while its Barquito port and Las Ventanas smelting and refinery complex resumed operations after a tsunami alert was lifted at 7:00 a.m. Thursday.

The El Teniente division, located south of Santiago, also is operating normally, the state-owned company said.

Private mining company Antofagasta Minerals, a unit of Chile's Luksic group, said in a statement it had suspended operations at its Los Pelambres mine in the Coquimbo region, near the quake's epicenter, pending completion of a safety evaluation.

None of its workers were injured in the earthquake, that company added.
 

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