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Chile loses 200,000t copper output to COVID-19

Chile has suffered a 200,000 tonne loss of copper production due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marco Riveros, EVP of state copper agency Cochilco, said during a public address about the performance of the Ministry of Mining in 2019.
Chile loses 200,000t copper output to COVID-19 Chile loses 200,000t copper output to COVID-19 Chile loses 200,000t copper output to COVID-19 Chile loses 200,000t copper output to COVID-19 Chile loses 200,000t copper output to COVID-19

Chile's mining minister, Baldo Prokurica

Riveros said a reduction of personnel at mining operations and the suspension of projects cut output.

In a video presentation, Chile mining minister Baldo Prokurica highlighted the role of the mining sector in development of the country.

"The pandemic has provoked a fall in the price of copper which has impacted on our development plans. For each cent that the price of a pound of copper falls, the Chilean state will not receive US$60 million. Despite this difficult and perverse scenario, our message has been to prioritise and safeguard the life and health of the workers and in the measure possible maintain operational continuity of mining projects, and not paralyse this activity," he said.

Looking forward, the minister reaffirmed the important role Chile and its mineral products could have in addressing key issues humanity faces such as anthropogenic climate change. "We have a great opportunity to transform Chile with minerals [copper, lithium and cobalt] to combat climate change, improve the quality of life of people and promote the technologies of the future," he said.

The minister said the government was developing a national mining policy 2020-2050 with a focus on sustainability, investment and exploration.

In 2019, Chile produced 5.8Mt of copper, 54,000t of molybdenum and 1,189t of silver.