(Reuters) - Chile’s copper mines, which produce about a third of global supply, have emerged almost unscathed from the earthquake which killed nearly 800 people and destroyed infrastructure, knocking out power and phone lines in some areas.
A strong 5.9-magnitude aftershock offshore of the Chilean coast on Wednesday sparked panic in the southern-central town of Conception, devastated by a massive earthquake over the weekend.
Chilean state oil company Enap has declared force majeure on a crude shipment from Ecuador’s Petroecuador due to refinery problems following the quake, a company spokeswoman said.
Codelco, the world’s top copper miner, said it is exporting normally after Saturday’s earthquake toppled power lines and damaged ports and roads.
Anglo American PLC said affected copper mining operations were able to resume full and safe production and expected that the chagres smelter will resume full production by Wednesday. It said lost copper production during the stoppage was limited to less than 1,500 tonnes.
Argentina will double its daily supply of natural gas to Chile after an earthquake shut two oil refineries, an Argentine government source said. The earthquake has not damaged pipelines linking the countries.
Chilean forestry group CMPC said all but three of its plants were down due to a massive weekend earthquake that disrupted power supply.
Chile was importing more crude oil products from Asia and the United States to make up for supply disruptions after two refineries got damaged and remained shut.
Stable power supply returned on Tuesday to Chile’s copper mines, which produce a third of the world’s supply.
Copper exporting port San Antonio was operating only two of its eight piers while the key Valparaiso port was operating five of eight piers.
Tremors also shook Chile’s wineries whose production was delayed in the aftermath.
More than 700 people died in the quake, which so far was estimated to have caused $3 billion to $8 billion in insured losses
Following are details of the aftershocks of the quake, which struck early Saturday 70 miles northeast of Concepcion and about 200 miles south of Santiago.
Here is an overview of major mines and smelters in Chile:
Major Mines Location Operator Output Status
El Teniente 75km S of Santiago Codelco 404,000 ops resumed
Andina 50km NE of Santiago Codelco 210,000 ops resumed
Los Bronces 65km NE of Santiago Anglo-American 235,000 ops resumed
El Soldado 132km N of Santiago Anglo-American 50,000 ops resumed
Los Pelambres 200km NE of SantiagoAntofagasta 310,000 ops resumed
Candelaria FreeportMcMoRan185,000 starting up
Escondida far north BHP Billiton 780,000 ops normal
Collahuasi far north Xstrata/Anglo 435,000 ops normal
Chuquicamata far north Codelco 565,000 ops normal
Top smelters Near Operator Capacity Status
Caletones El Teniente Codelco 435,000 ops suspend
Potrerillos Codelco 195,000 ops normal
Altonorte Antofagasta Port Xstrata 268,014 n/a
Chuquicamata Chuquicamata Codelco 590,130 ops normal
Energy facilities Location Operator Capacity Status
BioBio Refinery N of Conception ENAP 116,000 shut
Aconcagua Refinery near Santiago ENAP 100,000 shut
Quintero LNG 110km NE of Santiago BG 2.5 mln Ts unaffected
Mejillones LNG GDF Suez unaffected
* Output as of 2009 from Metals Production Database (here); Teniente/Andina output as of 2009 from company; Bronces/Soldado output as of 2008 from company Website.
* Location based on company information, public data
* Distance best estimate using company data, Google Maps
Reporting by Alonso Soto in Santiago and Euan Rocha in Toronto