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Copper April 19, 2024 03:30:11 PM

Codelco Copper Output Affected by Fatal Accident, Chile Minister Says

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Both Williams and Chairman Maximo Pacheco say Codelco is on track to increase production this year, with a drop in output in the first quarter in line with internal targets.

Codelco Copper Output Affected by Fatal Accident, Chile Minister Says

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Codelco, the Chilean state company battling to retain the title of world’s largest copper supplier, is set to suffer a dip in output amid a slow resumption of operations after a fatal accident at one of its mines.

“April is probably going to go down a little,” Mining Minister Aurora Williams said in an interview in Santiago Thursday. “Naturally, we have a contingency there that we hope will recover in the third quarter of this year.”

The Radomiro Tomic operation halted mining after an accident last month in the latest disruption to mines and projects at Codelco, whose production has slumped to the lowest in a quarter century. Both Williams and Chairman Maximo Pacheco say Codelco is on track to increase production this year, with a drop in output in the first quarter in line with internal targets.

Codelco declined to comment on Radomiro Tomic’s restart. Union boss Ricardo Torrejon said that only about a third of the open pit’s truck fleet is operating and the mine isn’t scheduled to get back to normal until the first or second week of May. Separately, Codelco’s Chuquicamata underground mine began a 15-day scheduled maintenance on Monday.

The plight of Codelco has been a key topic at the Cesco Week industry event in Santiago this week, given concerns that there may not be enough supply of the wiring metal to meet the needs of the energy transition. Copper futures on the London Metal Exchange have rallied this year to 22-month highs.

The slide in Chilean production to 20-year lows has also supported prices. The slump is about to end as the giant Quebrada Blanca expansion ramps up, with output to grow about 5% this year and 6% next year, she said. To be sure, the guidance for this year is lower than a previous 5.7% projection due to updates of company data, Williams said.

 Courtesy: www.yahoo.com

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