Codelco expects lower Feb copper output after fire at mine -report

viernes 20 de febrero de 2015 09:01 GYT

SANTIAGO Feb 20 (Reuters) - Chilean state-run copper producer Codelco expects copper production to be reduced by at least 4,000 tonnes in February following a fire at its El Teniente mine last month, local newspaper Diario Financiero reported on Friday.

Codelco halted operations at the Colon Alto secondary crushing plant at El Teniente after the fire, which lasted about two hours on Jan. 29.

In a memo to employees, the company said that as a result of the fire, copper output was expected to drop by 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes in February, with a smaller hit to production in March, before returning to normal in April, the paper said.

In February 2014, El Teniente produced 32,900 tonnes.

Codelco could not immediately be reached for comment.

The company's Chief Executive Nelson Pizarro told Reuters last month that the impact of the fire was relatively minor and that Codelco had alternatives to compensate for the lost production.

El Teniente, located in central Chile and one of the largest projects of Codelco, the world number one copper producer, had output of 455,500 tonnes of copper in 2014.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Bernadette Baum)