Codelco announced on Saturday that it will reduce its operations in the north of the country, following the death of a second worker due to the Covid-19, at a time when the pandemic is advancing strongly in the country. The miner, which until now had maintained its production and dispatches despite having reduced staff in work, said it would cripple the projects it advances in the area, while the Chuquicamata mine would operate only with staff from the neighboring town of Calama.
Economists backed Codelco’s decision and, expertly, this should not affect the price of copper.
Pablo Barberis, an economist at the University of Chile, told Radio Biobío that the price of red metal would only rise if production is notoriously affected. “If the work in Chuquicamata were closed and no more copper production was generated, it will immediately lead to a price hike because there was less supply in the market,” he said.
Meanwhile, the economist Francisco Castañeda of the University of Santiago, told the radio that, on the other hand, the measure will affect the Imacec. “This paralysis of work, restriction, is going to affect the June Imacec to a greater extent and probably, to a lesser extent, the July one,” he said.
In the meantime, the decision was well received by Members of the Mining Commission. Christian Democrat mp Gabriel Silber assessed the measure as it protects workers and should not affect metal production at the Chuquicamata mine.