* Disruption in copper output expected -LS Nikko spokesman
* No time set for a restart of fire-hit No.1 unit -spokesman
* Maintenance had been delayed for fire-hit unit after another closure (Adds details from company spokesman)
By Jane Chung
SEOUL, May 23 (Reuters) - LS-Nikko Copper has halted all smelting operations at its No.1 unit at the direction of the labor ministry following a fire at a cooling tower.
The fire follows a shutdown of the No.2 unit at the plant in the southeastern port city of Ulsan earlier this month after a steam explosion that injured eight workers.
No time had been set for a restart of the No. 1 unit, which has a capacity of 200,000 tonnes of copper per year, an LS-Nikko spokesman said. The company was waiting for the result of an investigation into the brief fire on Thursday.
All smelting operations had been halted and the shutdown could affect total output of refined metal, he added.
LS-Nikko had delayed scheduled maintenance at the No.1 unit following the explosion and shutdown of the No.2 unit, which has a capacity of 290,000 tonnes of per year.
Japan’s JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp indirectly owns 40 percent of LS Nikko.
Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Richard Pullin