SANTIAGO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Anglo American Plc said on Sunday it had halted grinding at its Los Bronces copper mine in Chile after detecting a leak in a pipe carrying ground ore mixed with water.
The leak was found on farmland outside the capital Santiago during a routine dawn inspection of the more than 50-km(31-mile)-long pipe, which connects the company’s flagship mine with the Las Tortolas flotation plant.
Los Bronces produces roughly 7 percent of copper in Chile, the world’s leading producer of the red metal. By late on Sunday, the company had not given further details about the state of operations.
Anglo American said the pipe does not carry tailings from the mining process and that an investigation was underway.
Chile’s environment regulator hit Anglo American with a $6.24 million fine in May and ordered the miner to shut one of its waste dumps at the Los Bronces mine, saying irreparable damage had been done to surrounding land. (Reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Sandra Maler)