Chile's Collahuasi Mine Looks for Alternatives for Copper Shipments

Chile's Collahuasi mine, the world's third largest copper deposit, declared it had to shut down its main port following an accident. It is now looking for alternatives to export copper concentrate.

Collahuasi, owned by Xstrata and Anglo American, extracts some 535,000 tonnes a year, or 3.3 percent of global mined copper.

A company spokeswoman revealed that an unfortunate accident at the Patache port on Saturday led to the death of three workers when part of a ship loader collapsed. Collahuasi is since looking for other options to export copper by sea.

Collahuasi workers returned to their jobs earlier this month following a 32-day strike that is viewed as one of the worst faced by any foreign miner in Chile, the world's top copper producer.

"We're evaluating different alternatives to export copper concentrate while the shiploader is repaired," Bernardita Fernandez told Reuters, adding that she could not say whether Patache was the only port used by Collahuasi. An official at Patache said repairing the ship loader could take a while.

"We spoke with the people there and they said that it can take at least a month to repair the structure that collapsed," said Port Captain Domingo Hormazabal.

Joel Scanlon

Written by

Joel Scanlon

Joel, originally from the UK, emigrated to Australia in 1995 and spent 5 years working in the mining industry as an exploration Geo-technician where he developed skills in GIS Mapping and CAD. Joel also spent a year working underground in a gold/copper mine. Upon moving to the North Coast of NSW, Australia Joel worked as a graphic designer for a leading consultancy firm before starting a successful business providing graphic and web design services to local businesses on the eastern seaboard of Australia. Joel is skilled in project management, content production, design, animation, database and networking, software, and editing. Joel has been with AZoNetwork since its inception in 2000.

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