Japan Smelters to Assess Chile Quake Impact on Copper Output

28 February 2010 (Last Updated February 28th, 2010 18:30)

Japan's leading copper smelters said that they are yet to assess the impact on their copper production from the massive earthquake in Chile. The country's top three smelters said that information is still being collected about the extent of damage, which occurred to the mines they have

Japan's leading copper smelters said that they are yet to assess the impact on their copper production from the massive earthquake in Chile.

The country's top three smelters said that information is still being collected about the extent of damage, which occurred to the mines they have stakes in and to port facilities, according to Reuters.

Japan's top copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper, has three sources of supply from Chile, including Escondida, Los Pelambres and the Collahuasi mines.

Pan Pacific, a joint venture between Mitsui Mining, Smelting and Nippon Mining, was expecting to produce 286,000t of copper in the second half of the current fiscal year, ending on 31 March.

Sumitomo Metal Mining, Japan's second-largest copper smelter with stakes in Chile's Candelaria and Ojos del Salade copper mines, had earlier said it expected to produce 201,000t of copper in the half year ending on 31 March.

Third-ranked Mitsubishi Materials has stakes in two mines in Chile and said it was expecting to produce 156,102t in the second half of the fiscal year.

Chile provided around 40% of approximately five million tons of copper concentrate that Japan imported last year.

Japanese smelters mostly cover their raw material needs from Chile's mines through long-term contracts.