Restrictions to the access at Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile have been partially eased after a leak in the concentrate pipeline on June 7. As a result, repairs to the pipeline have commenced, however, some access restrictions remain that will prolong the time required to complete the scheduled work, according to the company.
The company said it continues to engage with authorities and communities to remove the remaining road access restrictions.
Given the outstanding repair work and the testing required for a safe restart, which includes working with the relevant local regulator, the company expects the operation of the pipeline to resume by the end of June.
During the shutdown, the processing plant has been operating at lower rates of throughput, with concentrates being stockpiled at the plant. These will be transferred to the port between July and October using the spare capacity of the pipeline.
As of the date of this release, full-year copper production for the group is expected to be at the bottom end of the original 660,000 to 690,000 metric-ton-guidance range.
Total expenditure to repair the pipeline and bring it back to normal operations is not expected to be material, the company said.