UPDATE 1-Chile's Collahuasi says quake impact minor, port OK to open

martes 8 de abril de 2014 12:33 GYT

(Adds CEO comments, background and details)

By Fabian Cambero

SANTIAGO, April 8 (Reuters) - The CEO of Chilean copper miner Collahuasi said on Tuesday he sees only a "minor" impact on its production from last week's massive earthquake in the north of the country, adding it has been authorized to reactivate its Patache port, which was closed after the temblor spawned a tsunami.

"We just received authorization and a ship has already entered the port to load," Chief Executive Officer Jorge Gomez told Reuters on the sidelines of the CESCO/CRU copper conference in the capital, Santiago.

Collahuasi is a partnership between Glencore Xstrata and Anglo American PLC.

The port of Patache, which is where Collahuasi ships copper concentrate from, had to close due to the sea swells and tsunami that followed the 8.2 magnitude quake.

But the earthquake's impact on production at Collahuasi, one of the world's largest copper mines, is only "minor," Gomez said.

Collahuasi, perched 4,440 meters above sea level in the rugged northern Andean region of Tarapaca, had to temporarily suspend operations after evacuating workers following the quake.

Copper operations in Chile, the world's top producer, were mostly unscathed by the major earthquake that struck the mineral-rich north late on April 1.

The quake left six people dead and thousands of homes damaged and has been followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a strong 7.6 magnitude on April 2 that sparked another tsunami alert. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Anthony Esposito, editing by G Crosse)