Heavy rains shut Chile's El Teniente copper mine

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile's state-run mining company, Codelco, said Monday that operations at its El Teniente copper mine will be suspended for six days due to torrential rains over the weekend that caused heavy flooding.

The world's top copper producer said it expects to restart operations Thursday. It estimates its losses at about 1,500 metric tons of copper each day that the mine is halted. The company has also been hard hit by lower prices and demand for copper after an economic slowdown in China as well as dwindling ore grades.

The rains that began Saturday also caused the Rio Mapocho to flood several areas of Chile's capital, causing power outages and landslides. Schools were canceled and water service was cut to 4.5 million people around Santiago.