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UPDATE 2-Chile Mine Seeks Alternative to Ship Copper-Official
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SANTIAGO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Chile's Collahuasi mine, the world's No. 3 copper deposit, is looking for alternatives to export copper concentrate after its main port was shut down following an accident, the company said on Sunday.

Collahuasi, owned by Xstrata (XTA.L) and Anglo American (AAL.L), extracts some 535,000 tonnes a year, or 3.3 percent of global mined copper.

A company spokeswoman said Collahuasi is evaluating other options to export copper by sea after the accident at the Patache port on Saturday in which three workers were killed when part of a shiploader collapsed.

"We're evaluating different alternatives to export copper concentrate while the shiploader is repaired," Bernardita Fernandez told Reuters, adding that she could not say whether Patache was the only port used by Collahuasi.

An official at Patache said repairing the shiploader could take a while.

"We spoke with the people there and they said that it can take at least a month to repair the structure that collapsed," said Port Captain Domingo Hormazabal.

Collahuasi workers returned to their jobs earlier this month following a 32-day strike that is viewed as one of the worst faced by any foreign miner in Chile, the world's top copper producer.







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