Codelco will resume construction in ‘coming days’ after fatal accidents

(Image courtesy of Codelco via Flickr)

Chilean state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, expects to resume construction of mining projects in the coming days after two fatal accidents paused work last month, the chairman of the board said on Wednesday.

“We are going to take all the time that is necessary so that all our processes, all our regulations, all the training that is required are in order,” Codelco Chairman Maximo Pacheco said during a company event launching a fleet of electric busses to transport mine workers.

“I hope that in the next few days we will have the projects normalized,” he added.

In mid-July, Codelco stopped all the works in charge of its Vice Presidency of Projects after the death of an operator in the Rajo Inca expansion and later another at its Chuqui Subterranea project, an expansion of the historical Chuquicamata mine.

Pacheco stressed that the “structural projects,” which the company hopes will counteract a drop in ore grades of its deposits, are key to maintaining copper production in the coming years.

“We are in the process of reviewing the structural projects one by one, their viability, their expected results,” Pacheco said, adding the company hopes to complete the task by the end of the month and have a “more definitive opinion” on production for 2022 and 2023.

Pacheco did not refer to the investigations being carried out to determine the causes of the fatalities.

(By Natalia Ramos, Fabian Cambero and Alexander Villegas; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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