Chile copper industry largely unscathed by coronavirus – minister – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters U.S. – April 29, 2020)

SANTIAGO, April 29 (Reuters) – Chile´s mining minister said on Wednesday the South American nation´s sprawling copper industry so far ranks among the least affected globally by the COVID-19 pandemic, citing official figures that point to a reduction in output of just 1%.

Mining minister Baldo Prokurica, in an interview with Emol TV, credited both public and private measures aimed at protecting workers with the industry´s resilience even as the virus has ravaged other parts of Chile´s economy.

“One realizes that Chile has been one of the countries that will be least hit by this pandemic,” Prokurica told the web news broadcast.

Prokurica said official statistics from Chile state copper agency Cochilco estimate a total reduction in output of about 63,300 tonnes, or approximately 1% of the country´s annual production. Chile produced 5.70 million tonnes of copper in 2019.

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