April 21, 2016 / 12:57 PM / 2 years ago

Tailings duct at Codelco's Andina mine in Chile ruptures after storm

SANTIAGO, April 21 (Reuters) - Chile’s state-run copper company Codelco said on Wednesday night it had suffered a contained environmental incident at its Andina mine after strong rains, and it had suspended workers and supervisors involved as a result.

Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal, said that a storm that lashed central Chile earlier this week helped lead to a rupture in a duct carrying tailings, north of capital Santiago.

The company added that it was initiating an investigation.

“Once the storm passed and the security conditions to realize a fly over existed, a visual inspection of the entire duct was begun, in which it was confirmed...that a contained quantity of tailings leaked through the damaged section of the duct, running through a ravine,” the mining company said.

Codelco said it considered the event “serious” given that it is the second environmental incident at Andina in recent months.

In February, the company temporarily suspended operations at Andina after a copper concentrate duct ruptured. (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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