Rio Tinto declares force majeure on copper from U.S. smelter after quake


Adds details about the smelter

MELBOURNE, April 3 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto Ltd RIO.AX said it has invoked force majeure on copper cathode contracts for its Kennecott copper mine and smelter in the U.S. state of Utah after an earthquake last month resulted in an emergency shutdown.

Force majeure is a clause that absolves parties to a contract from honouring terms due to reasons outside their control.

Rio Tinto said in a statement to Reuters it had decided to declare force majeure after a magnitude 5.7 earthquake impacted operations on March 18.

"We are working to restart Kennecott’s smelter after the emergency shutdown in response to the earthquake," it added.

Rio produced 186,800 tonnes of copper last year at the smelter near Salt Lake City, which also produces gold and silver as byproducts from its operations.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Edwina Gibbs)

(( Twitter: @MelanieMetals; +613 9286 1421; Reuters Messaging:

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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