Mines in Chile undamaged by earthquake

April 2, 2014

According to reports published on April 2, the day after a 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the northern coast of Chile, major mining operations in the country were not affected.

Most mines in quake-prone Chile, which supplies around a third of the world's copper, are designed to withstand tremors.

The Collahuasi copper mine and port did not report any damage, but some workers were evacuated to be with their families following the 8.2-magnitude earthquake, Reuters reported.

"We facilitated the descent of people who wanted to be with their families," mine Chief Executive Officer Jorge Gomez told Reuters in an email. The mine is perched high in mountains.

"The port's operations are completely halted because we had to evacuate everyone, as per the authorities' orders."

The quake struck about 8:46 pm local time, some 60 miles northwest of Iquique. It had a depth of 12.5 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Chile's National Emergency Office asked coastal residents to evacuate because of fears of a tsunami, CNN reported.

A joint venture led by Anglo American and Glencore Xstrata, Collahuasi was one of the big mines closest to the epicenter.

State copper miner Codelco and London-listed Antofagasta both said their mines were functioning normally. Teck Resources said its Quebrada Blanca mine was also fine.

World No.1 copper producer Codelco said it had evacuated workers from its Ventanas smelting and refinery operation due to a government-ordered tsunami evacuation order.

It was unclear whether Chile's ports might be damaged, which would harm metal shipments.


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