SANTIAGO, April 21 (Reuters) - World top copper producer Codelco said on Tuesday that operations at its Salvador mine in Chile restarted on April 20 as scheduled, following a halt forced by heavy rains three weeks ago.
Operations will be gradually stepped up after drinking water was reconnected and damaged roads repaired, Codelco said in a statement.
Railways previously used by the mine for transportation will take at least a year to be operational again, while the repair of some electricity pylons will take around eight months, it said.
Salvador is located in the Atacama region, the worst hit by unusually heavy rains in March that caused rivers to overflow their banks and wash away roads.
With an annual copper output of around 54,000 tonnes, the mine is one of the smallest operations of the state-run producer. Codelco has said it expects to use its other mines to recover the production loss over the year.
Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; editing by Gunna Dickson