SANTIAGO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Anglo American Plc said on Tuesday that a milling plant at its Los Bronces copper mine in Chile remained closed after a leak was detected over the weekend in a pipe carrying ground ore mixed with water.
The leak was found on Sunday on farmland close to the capital Santiago during a routine dawn inspection of the more than 50-km (31-mile) km)-long pipe, which connects the company’s flagship copper mine with a flotation plant.
The company said in a statement that the mine’s milling operations will remain closed until the leak is fixed, and added that it is working with Chilean authorities to monitor the environmental situation.
It did not give details on how long the plant would be halted nor its effect on production.
It said it was investigating if a nearby river or local plant and animal life were affected. The river is not considered a naturally suitable drinking source, it said.
Los Bronces is part of the Anglo American Sur complex, which produced 437,800 tonnes of copper in 2015, roughly 8 percent of Chile’s total output. Chile is the world’s No. 1 copper producer.
Last May, Chile’s environmental regulator slapped Anglo American with a $6 million fine and ordered it to shut one of its waste dumps at Los Bronces, saying irreparable damage had been done to surrounding land.
Reporting by Fabian Cambero, Writing by Gram Slattery, Editing by W Simon