June 8, 2017 / 3:45 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Codelco mines in Chile restart operations after rains

(Updates to say that mines have restarted fully, modifies title)

SANTIAGO, June 8 (Reuters) - Chilean copper company Codelco has restarted operations at mines in the northern part of the country after a rain storm caused a series of precautionary closures, the state-owned firm said on Thursday.

The company’s Radomiro Tomic, Ministro Hales, and flagship Chuquicamata mines had restarted and were operating normally, Codelco said in a statement.

Various parts of the company’s Salvador operation, including an underground mine and a port, were also operating normally, while the company expected Salvador’s foundry and refinery to fully restart operations shortly.

On Wednesday, Codelco said mining activities at Chuquicamata, Radomiro Tomic, and Ministro Hales had been suspended. Other mines in the area, owned by Antofagasta , BHP Billiton, and Poland’s KGHM , also reported disruptions.

Heavy rains in Chile’s Antofagasta region, as well as snow at higher altitudes, led the country’s emergency services to trigger its highest ‘red alert’ warning for the area on Tuesday, though damage appears to have been limited.

The four Codelco mines in question produced 917,000 tonnes of copper in 2016. Codelco said in the statement it was evaluating the storm’s impact on production. (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bernard Orr and Frances Kerry)

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