UPDATE 1-Japan's JX widens loss estimate with Caserones write-down
(Adds detail and update on Caserones mine)
TOKYO, March 26 (Reuters) - JX Holdings Inc, Japan's top oil refiner by sales, widened its group net loss estimate for the year ending March 31 as it wrote down $420 million on its investment in Chile's Caserones mine.
The company said on Thursday it would likely post 50 billion yen ($420 million) in impairment losses for copper assets, as the planned ramp-up at its Caserones mine in Chile has been delayed due to the time needed to develop a deposit site for waste.
Also affected by weaker oil prices, the group's net loss estimate rose by 110 billion yen to 320 billion yen for the year.
This marks the first net loss for JX, formed in 2010 via the merger of Nippon Oil Corp and Nippon Mining Holdings Inc.
Caserones has had a troubled start to operations.
Construction delays, bad weather and other factors led it to postpone its first shipment from January to July 2014 and pushed up costs.
Last week, it was fined $12 million for violating environmental regulations.
And, alongside other mines, operations are currently suspended due to unusually heavy rainfall in Chile. Caserones is located in Atacama, the worst-hit area. Continuación...