Metals News
Chile Port Receives Truckloads of Codelco Copper (Update1)
industry news
Mar 5,2010

March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, said its El Teniente mine resumed sending copper to the San Antonio port by truck after a Feb. 27 earthquake damaged railways.

The Santiago-based company completed repairs today at El Teniente's smelter, which was damaged during the 8.8-magnitude temblor, an official briefed on the mines said today in a telephone interview.

The earthquake was the biggest to hit Chile, the world's largest supplier of copper, in 50 years. Copper surged to a five-week high in London and by the most in 11 months in New York after the temblor.

Copper futures for May delivery dropped 5.95 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.3755 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex unit, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Feb. 23.

Codelco returned to full output after the earthquake knocked out power to two mines supplying more than one third of its production. Codelco said yesterday that it wasn't shipping copper from El Teniente.

Shipments from El Teniente primarily go through the San Antonio port, which is working at 80 percent capacity. Ships bringing in grains are being given priority over incoming and outgoing vessels, an official briefed on port activities said yesterday in an interview in San Antonio.

The official couldn't confirm whether copper shipments have been dispatched from the port this week.

Codelco reopened its 381,000-ton El Teniente mine Feb. 28 after restoring electricity to the mine in Central Chile.

Codelco's El Teniente and Andina mines produced 614,000 metric tons of copper last year, about 34 percent of the company's 1.78 million tons of output.

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