Thousands of Copper Workers Have Fallen Ill in Chile – by Jackie Davalos (Bloomberg News – July 6, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — It’s no coincidence that global copper prices and Chilean Covid-19 cases are rising together.

Chile, which accounts for more than a quarter of global supply, is battling to maintain output levels as more workers fall ill amid a nationwide surge of infections.

Mines have been attempting to keep their workers safe without forgoing too much output by postponing non-essential activities such as maintenance and construction work. Fewer workers on site mean less risk of infection.

But cases keep rising, and unions and local politicians are calling for tighter restrictions. With Chilean supply risk growing at a time of recovering Chinese demand, the price of copper is back to near where it started the year.

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