Currently viewing Global edition

Chile maintains copper exports

Chile’s copper exports were maintained at normal levels in June at US$2.7 billion, according to Central bank figures, despite operations working with pared workforces due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chile maintains copper exports Chile maintains copper exports Chile maintains copper exports Chile maintains copper exports Chile maintains copper exports

Chile copper exports continue

Data from state copper agency Cochilco shows output was maintained at normal levels during the first five months of the year, averaging 473,200 tonnes per month.

Chile produced 432,500t of red metal in May, but market observers are expecting these figures to fall as mining operations slow due to COVID-19 cases among miners increasing.

The country has one of the highest incidences per capita of COVID-19 infection with almost 300,000 reported cases, according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, just below the 306,000 cases of neighbour and copper competitor, Peru.

Bloomberg reported that thousands of copper workers had fallen ill in Chile, prompting unions to call for the suspension of operations at some mines. Workers at the El Teniente and Chuquicmata operations of state copper company Codelco have been particularly hard hit by the virus, according to data from the Federation of Copper Workers.

Most mines have reduced the number of workers and contractors on site to reduce social interaction and the possibility of transmitting the virus.

In Panama, the government has given First Quantum permission to restart its Cobre Panama mine, which had been on care and maintenance since early April due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The company aims to ramp production and reach full capacity in August. Management disclosed the shut down would cost US$4-6 million per week.