Codelco says it may have to slow investment plan

Codelco CEO Octavio Araneda. (Image courtesy of Codelco)

The head of Chilean miner Codelco said the company may have to reduce investment plans due to the coronavirus, but said an operations halt would impact the company’s financial situation, a local newspaper reported on Saturday.

In a preview of the Sunday edition of the La Tercera newspaper, Codelco’s president, Octavio Araneda, said while the company has continued producing, it is closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 7,000 Chileans so far.

“We are going to have to consider deferring some investments,” Araneda told the newspaper.

“Stopping work entirely would put the company in a delicate situation for multiple reasons. A drop in production to minimum levels or zero for an extended period would bring an escalation of other problems, such as rising costs and later, liquidity constraints,” he added.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Chile’s copper miners were looking to reduce production. Araneda said Codelco may have to slow down its investment plan, which aims to counter the natural fall in the mineral grades of its mines.

(By Fabian Cambero and Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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