Chile Collahuasi Copper Mine Halts Ops on Death

Industry News 09:17:03AM Feb 22, 2012 Source:SMM

SANTIAGO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The world's No. 3 copper mine, Chile's Collahuasi, halted all mining, plant and port operations after a worker died in an accident at its sulfide plant on Monday afternoon, mine spokeswoman Bernardita Fernandez told Reuters on Tuesday.   

Operations should start to normalize on Wednesday once authorities inspect the mine, a company source said.    

It was not immediately clear how the stoppage would hit output at Collahuasi, which produces around 3 percent of the world's red metal and is owned jointly by Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc.    

The mine was beset by work stoppages, severe weather and accidents last year, triggering a 10 percent tumble in output to a little over 453,000 tonnes- its lowest production figure since 2007.   

The stoppage did not appear to affect copper prices, which rose on Tuesday after Greece secured a rescue package from euro zone finance ministers to avert an imminent default, helping allay some fears about the euro debt crisis.
    
"Collahuasi hasn't yet affected prices because there's a lot of copper still in warehouses," said George Gero, vice president with RBC Capital Markets Global Futures in New York. "It could... but it's Greece for now."   
      
Plant operator Cristian Araya died after a pump in the pools of Collahuasi's sulfides plant burst, the mine's union said on its web site. Plant operations were halted immediately after the accident Monday afternoon, while the other operations stopped on Tuesday.    

Perched at 4,400 meters above sea level, Collahuasi has been battered by severe snow in the past few days, halting extraction operations from Sunday evening to Monday morning, though output was not affected.    

Chile, the world's top copper producer, suffered from a wave of labor stoppages, extreme weather and energy woes last year, triggering a 3.2 percent fall in output to 5.24 million tonnes compared with 2010.
 

Chile Collahuasi Copper Mine Halts Ops on Death

Industry News 09:17:03AM Feb 22, 2012 Source:SMM

SANTIAGO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The world's No. 3 copper mine, Chile's Collahuasi, halted all mining, plant and port operations after a worker died in an accident at its sulfide plant on Monday afternoon, mine spokeswoman Bernardita Fernandez told Reuters on Tuesday.   

Operations should start to normalize on Wednesday once authorities inspect the mine, a company source said.    

It was not immediately clear how the stoppage would hit output at Collahuasi, which produces around 3 percent of the world's red metal and is owned jointly by Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc.    

The mine was beset by work stoppages, severe weather and accidents last year, triggering a 10 percent tumble in output to a little over 453,000 tonnes- its lowest production figure since 2007.   

The stoppage did not appear to affect copper prices, which rose on Tuesday after Greece secured a rescue package from euro zone finance ministers to avert an imminent default, helping allay some fears about the euro debt crisis.
    
"Collahuasi hasn't yet affected prices because there's a lot of copper still in warehouses," said George Gero, vice president with RBC Capital Markets Global Futures in New York. "It could... but it's Greece for now."   
      
Plant operator Cristian Araya died after a pump in the pools of Collahuasi's sulfides plant burst, the mine's union said on its web site. Plant operations were halted immediately after the accident Monday afternoon, while the other operations stopped on Tuesday.    

Perched at 4,400 meters above sea level, Collahuasi has been battered by severe snow in the past few days, halting extraction operations from Sunday evening to Monday morning, though output was not affected.    

Chile, the world's top copper producer, suffered from a wave of labor stoppages, extreme weather and energy woes last year, triggering a 3.2 percent fall in output to 5.24 million tonnes compared with 2010.