Chile’s state mining giant Codelco — the world’s top copper producer — called off operations at one of its largest facilities Sunday due to a major storm that has killed at least five people.
“At Chuquicamata, work was suspended at about 1700 GMT since the rain is potentially very dangerous for workers on the job,” a Codelco statement said.
The Chuquicamata mine, located 1,650 kilometers (1,000 miles) north of Santiago, produces around 339,000 tonnes of copper per year, making it one of the company’s most productive sites.
Codelco produces 11 percent of the world’s copper.
At another Codelco facility in the northern Atacama region, work has been halted for nearly three weeks by strikers seeking wage hikes.
Chile is the world’s number one producer of copper and produces one third of the world’s total output.
Three of the people killed by poor weather died in a mudslide caused by heavy rains in the northern region of Antofagasta (Other OTC: ANFGF – news) , and two others died in the Valparaiso area, the National Emergency Office said.