Chile's Codelco says to modify Andina mine for glaciers

An aerial view of the open pit of CODELCO'S Andina at Los Andes Mountain range, near Santiago city, November 17, 2014. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile’s state-run Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, presented on Tuesday a $250 million plan to move its Andina mine away from glaciers.

The company said in a statement the changes, which will take 36 months to implement once an environmental impact study is improved, would not change expected output or the mine’s lifespan.

“It modifies the shape of the current pit, maintaining its size but redirecting the mining extraction toward zones where glaciers are not present,” Codelco said.

Andina’s proximity to glaciers has generated sharp criticism from environmentalists.

Andina produced 164,000 tonnes of copper from January to September of last year.

Reporting by Felipe Iturrieta; Writing by Caroline StaufferEditing by Chizu Nomiyama