Codelco suspends production line at Andina copper mine in Chile after pipeline bursts

25 February 2016 (Last Updated February 25th, 2016 18:30)

Chilean state-owned mining company Codelco has suspended a production line at its Andina copper mine following a burst pipeline.

Chilean state-owned mining company Codelco has suspended a production line at its Andina copper mine following a burst pipeline.

The company said that the situation is now under control. The incident occurred when an underground pipeline carrying copper concentrate suffered a break in the Saladillo sector and poured about 50m³ of material to the White River.

Following the incident, Codelco activated emergency protocols and informed the relevant regional and communal authorities to nearby communities and irrigators in the area.

"Sampling on the river realise the low copper levels to levels that are treatable in our plant."

As a precaution, irrigators closed their water catchment systems from the river.

The company has also put in place all necessary measures to investigate the event causes and develop corrective actions.

From the early hours, Codelco started developing a monitoring programme of water quality of the White River.

Certified external laboratories are analysing the results.

An emergency operation has been ordered to prevent the advance of the concentrate.

Esval supplies drinking water in the area and said in a statement: "Sampling on the river realise the low copper levels to levels that are treatable in our plant.

"This allows us reopen the uptake and power gradually normalise the production of drinking water, ensuring the safety of their consumption."