Codelco says maintenance at Chuquicamata smelter to last 135 days

SX-EW processing at Chuquicamata mine in Chile. Image from Codelco.

Codelco, the world’s largest copper miner, on Tuesday confirmed to Reuters that it will extend maintenance work at its Chuquicamata smelter to 135 days, from an initially planned 90-day stoppage.

Codelco has warned of the planned work after its accumulated copper output from January to September fell 10% year-on-year partly due to issues at Chuquicamata’s refinery and smelter.

During the presentation of financial results last month, the mining firm cited the start of major maintenance in November, which will cause significant operational discontinuity. Chile is the world’s largest copper-producing country.


Chuquicamata’s smelter was previously halted in December 2018 for work to make it compliant with new emissions standards. The restart of operations at that time was postponed for months due to problems with a contractor.

(By Fabian Andres Cambero; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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