Codelco’s Chuquicamata flash smelter to stay closed until Mar-end on delayed emission compliance

Codelco’s Chuqicamata flash copper smelter will remain offline for at least a month longer than previously expected, with a large-scale upgrade at the plant experiencing delays, the company told Fastmarkets.

Chilean state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, shut the flash smelter, with capacity to produce 320,000 tonnes per year of cathodes, in December because it did not comply with new stricter emission requirements.
The delays came despite Codelco’s investment of $997 million to upgrade the facility to meet Supreme Decree 28 rules, which came into effect on December 13 and stipulates minimum standards for sulfur dioxide and arsenic emissions capture of 95%, up from the previous 90%.
Initial plans for the plant upgrades to be complete by February has been extended to the end of March, a Codelco spokesman confirmed.

The delay not only means the continued absence of...

Published

Archie Hunter

Julian Luk

February 01, 2019

13:20 GMT

London