Fire affects plant at Chilean Antofagasta's Centinela copper mine

jueves 24 de diciembre de 2015 13:56 GYT

SANTIAGO Dec 24 (Reuters) - Antofagasta Plc said that a fire affected a plant at its Centinela copper mine in northern Chile on Wednesday night, but underscored that nobody was injured and that production would not be impacted.

The fire affected the electrowinning unit of Centinela's hydrometallurgy plant and was extinguished minutes after it started, Antofagasta said in a statement on Thursday.

"This fire will not alter the company's rate of production. Operations at the hydrometallurgical plant are resuming after a risk control was performed," the company said.

Antofagasta said it was investigating the cause of the fire, adding that key equipment at the plant was not damaged, though the building that houses the unit was partially affected and is being evaluated.

Antofagasta has forecast 2015 copper production of 635,000 tonnes and expects to produce about 3 percent more metal in 2016 due to a new mine and improvements at existing mines.

The company cut its full-year 2015 output guidance to 635,000 tonnes from 665,000 tonnes after a delayed ramp-up at its Centinela Concentrates operations and a minor pit wall slide at its Centinela Cathodes operations. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito)