SANTIAGO, March 23 A worker was crushed to death
on Saturday in an accident at Chilean state miner Codelco's
Radomiro Tomic open-pit mine, leading to the suspension of
mining operations, a company spokeswoman said.
Nelson Barria, 37, was working with heavy machinery when a
sudden landslide buried him under rocks and earth.
Barria had worked at Radomiro Tomic since 1998 and leaves
behind a widow and two children, aged seven and 11, Codelco said
in a statement on its website.
Codelco immediately suspended extractive mining
operations following the accident although "plant operation and
production" was not affected, the spokeswoman told Reuters.
The company, the world's No. 1 copper producer, is injecting
$4.4 billion for development at Radomiro Tomic after finishing
an initial expansion phase in 2010. The project is undergoing a
feasibility study and is due to be finished by 2017.
The mine's output reached about 313,000 tonnes of copper in
the first nine months of last year.
Codelco is pursuing an ambitious, long-term investment plan
of roughly $28 billion to boost output at its aging mines. It
aims to produce more than 2 million tonnes of the red metal by
2021, a big leap from last year, when it produced less than 1.7