UPDATE 1-Chile's Collahuasi copper mine restarts operations after stoppage

sábado 26 de julio de 2014 16:21 GYT
 

(Adds company's comments, background details)

SANTIAGO, July 26 (Reuters) - Chile's massive Collahuasi copper mine has resumed operations following a temporary work stoppage, the company said on Saturday.

Workers at Collahuasi, one of the world's largest copper mines, had called for the temporary work stoppage after one of their colleagues died, possibly from infection.

"Operations are normal following this morning's delay, which was due to the company's decision to medically treat workers and hold a medical workshop to prevent a possible contagion of meningococcal meningitis," said the mine, a partnership between Glencore Plc and Anglo American Plc.

Robinson Cruz Albornoz, who worked at the mine for 17 years, died on Friday in his hometown of Calama in northern Chile after suffering from symptoms that point to a possible meningococcal meningitis infection, regional health authorities said, according to Collahuasi.

The infectious disease, which can cause severe brain damage, is fatal in half of cases if left untreated, according to the World Health Organization.

Collahuasi said that no other workers had shown symptoms of the infection so far and that it will take a few days for regional health authorities to determine the worker's exact cause of death.

The Chilean mine produced 444,509 tonnes of refined copper in 2013, up from 282,100 tonnes in 2012, when it was recovering from a string of problems related to labor, accidents and weather. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Bernard Orr and Lisa Shumaker)