(For full coverage, click on [ID:nCHILE])
* Teniente, biggest mine halted, restarts extraction
* Export routes said in good condition from 400ktpy mine
* Codelco's smaller Andina could also resume operations
* Copper prices surge on supply worries
(Updates with copper prices surging)
SANTIAGO, Feb 28 Chile's biggest copper mines
hit by a massive earthquake slowly resumed operations on Sunday
despite limited power supplies, which analysts fear could
curtail exports from the world's No. 1 producer.
Ricardo Alvarez, manager at Chile's fourth largest mine, El
Teniente, which accounts for more than 7 percent of national
output, told Reuters the recovery pace of output would depend
on the supply of electricity, which was partial.
"As they (the regional grid) allow us to use more power we
will resume other operations," he said, adding that those
operations included the concentrator and Caletones smelter.
Alvarez said the mine could slow the extraction of minerals
if power supply lags.
Copper prices surged in early trading on Monday due to
supply worries caused by the earthquake in Chile, jumping 5.6
percent on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3. [ID:nSGE62000B]
The quake killed more than 700 people and had forced
Codelco to shut the El Teniente complex as well as its Andina
Production resumed at the Anglo-American (AAL.L) Los
Bronces copper mine, union leader Eduardo Rocco told Reuters.
He said he did not know whether the company's El Soldado mine
had resumed operations.
An Anglo American spokesman said on Saturday there were no
initial reports of major damage at the two mines, which
together produce some 280,000 tonnes a year. [ID:nN27183634]
Alvarez said earlier facilities were undamaged in the 8.8
magnitude quake on Saturday and that roads to the exporting
port of San Antonio were in good condition.
The century-old, 400,000 tonne per year El Teniente is the
world's biggest underground copper mine.
Another Codelco official said the nearby 210,000 tonne
Andina mine was likely to resume operations by day's end.
The biggest mines in Chile, which produces a third of the
world's copper, are about 1,000 km (600 miles) to the north and
were spared any damage, but analysts feared that supply
disruptions from the mid-sized deposits nearer the capital,
Santiago, would be enough to stoke prices.
For a graphic showing the location of the earthquake, click
"While it appears that a modest proportion of production
has been halted, the major impact may come from the disruption
on deliveries from the mines and from the disruption of power
supplies to the mines," said Citi analyst David Thurtell.
A Codelco spokeswoman downplayed the impact on
infrastructure, saying most of the road destruction was south
of both mines and that she drove from a beach near the San
Antonio port to near El Teniente.
Both of Chile's main oil refineries were shut after
sustaining damage in the quake, state oil company ENAP said,
adding that it would import diesel to meet demand. Prolonged
power outages could significantly increase demand for liquid
fuel to help keep the mines operating.
The central copper-exporting port of San Antonio was shut
down, but the major northern ports of Antofagasta and
Mejillones were unaffected.
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (FCX.N) said the quake
did not damage its two mines, but it is facing a power outage
at its Candelaria mine, which will result in a temporary
(Reporting by Alonso Soto; editing by Chris Wilson)