Santiago, Chile — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 March 2010 – All but one of Chile’s biggest copper mines hit by the massive weekend earthquake had restored operations by yesterday, but persistent power supply problems are still threatening to restrict production rates.
Reuters reports from here that copper futures jumped to their highest in more than five weeks yesterday, after the quake forced the temporary closure of more than a fifth of the country’s copper output capacity.
It says mines producing over 1.2 million tonnes a year “’ nearly a quarter of the country’s total 5.4 million tonnes last year “’ were initially suspended by the quake, but production has started to recover despite erratic power supplies.
Global miner Anglo American said it had restarted operations at four of its copper operations in Chile, after the earthquake had cut power to deposits which deliver more than half of its mined output.
Production was affected at four of Anglo’s copper operations: Los Bronces, El Soldado and Mantoverde mines and the Chagres copper smelter. The mines produced 341 300 tonnes of copper, or 51% of Anglo’s output, in 2009, while smelter production from Chagres was 137 700 tonnes of anodes.
Power was partially restored and production began to ramp up on Sunday following detailed inspections.
“We are targeting an efficient resumption of full production as the situation allows,” Anglo chief executive Cynthia Carroll said in a statement.