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Chile's Codelco says operations normal, aims to meet 2020 output targets

Credit: REUTERS/RODRIGO GARRIDO

Chilean state-run copper miner Codelco is producing at full capacity and aims to meet its 2020 output targets, its chief executive said on Thursday, noting that the coronavirus pandemic was now under control with a low infection rate.

By Fabian Cambero

EL TENIENTE, Chile, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Chilean state-run copper miner Codelco is producing at full capacity and aims to meet its 2020 output targets, its chief executive said on Thursday, noting that the coronavirus pandemic was now under control with a low infection rate.

The pandemic hit Chile in March, forcing Codelco, the world's top copper producer, to sharply reduce its workforce, adjust shift schedules and pause expansion projects.

"Our production situation is 100% normal and we expect to meet out commitments by year's end," Chief Executive Octavio Araneda told reporters in a presentation.

He was unveiling an electric vehicle that will join Codelco's El Teniente underground mine in the Andes, part of an effort to electrify the company's fleet.

"Especially in underground mining, we see that in the future, no later than 2030, the majority of production equipment will be electrical," Araneda said.

Codelco's production rose 4.7% in the first half of 2020, even as it implemented measures to curb the virus at large operations, including El Teniente.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Dave Sherwood, Editing by Franklin Paul and Richard Chang)

((dave.sherwood@thomsonreuters.com; +56 9 9138 1047, +56 2 2370 4224; Reuters Messaging: dave.sherwood.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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