* Most mines in Chile designed to withstand tremors
* Collahuasi copper mine reports no problems
* But evacuates some workers to be with families
(Changes date in dateline; adds Collahuasi CEO comment)
By Alexandra Ulmer and Fabian Cambero
SANTIAGO, April 2 Mines in world No. 1 copper
producer Chile appear to have emerged unscathed from a major
quake that struck near the mineral-rich north of the Andean
country on Tuesday.
Most mines in quake-prone Chile, which supplies around a
third of the world's copper, are designed to withstand tremors.
The Collahuasi copper mine and port did not report any
damage, but some workers were evacuated to be with their
families following the 8.2-magnitude earthquake.
"We facilitated the descent of people who wanted to be with
their families," mine Chief Executive Officer Jorge Gomez told
Reuters in an email. The mine is perched high in mountains.
"The port's operations are completely halted because we had
to evacuate everyone, as per the authorities' orders."
A joint venture led by Anglo American and Glencore
Xstrata, Collahuasi was one of the big mines closest to
State copper miner Codelco and London-listed
Antofagasta both said their mines were functioning
normally. Teck Resources said its Quebrada Blanca mine was also
World No.1 copper producer Codelco said it had evacuated
workers from its Ventanas smelting and refinery operation due to
a government-ordered tsunami evacuation order.
It was unclear whether Chile's ports might be damaged, which
would harm metal shipments.
"I would expect the largest danger is to infrastructure,
namely ports and roads, which could obviously affect exports,"
said Morgan Stanley analyst Joel Crane in Melbourne.
Benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME) copper prices
rose to the highest in three weeks after the quake.
But traders said further gains were likely to be dampened by
ample supply and slow demand in China.
(Additional reporting by Felipe Iturrieta and Melanie Burton;
Editing by Eric Walsh, Michael Urquhart and Joseph Radford)