The Collahuasi mine in Chile hopes to find an alternative export route for its copper ore. It plans to ship around 10,000 tons of copper from Port Arica in the north.
Mining consortium Dona Ines de Collahuasi is hoping to lift a four week old force majeure to normalize copper deliveries. Currently the mine sends 70% of its copper output through Port Antofagasta.
It also plans on increasing its processing in the Altonorte smelter which is partly owned by mining giant Xstrata. The mine itself is jointly owned by subsidiaries of Xstrata plc (44%), Anglo American plc (44%) and a consortium of Japanese companies led by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (12%).
After an accident on Dec 18, 2010 at a shiploader at the sea terminal of the mine the company had declared a force majeure on sales.
This is a clause which helps to free the company of liability due to delivery delays. The disruption of export supplies from the Collahuasi mine has created some panic in the global markets about supply of copper. The mine produces 3.3% of the global supply of copper and it is the third largest copper mine in the world.