Copper giant Codelco records 3 215 cases of Covid-19, nine fatalities

14th July 2020

By: Reuters


Font size: - +

SANTIAGO – Chile's State-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, has registered a total 3 215 Covid-19 infections and nine deaths owing to the pandemic, the chairman of the firm said on Monday, as pressure rises on production of the red metal.

Board chairman Juan Benavides said 2 473 workers had already recovered while 37 remain hospitalised, according to comments made to a mining commission made up of lower-house lawmakers and confirmed by Codelco.

Chile's copper miners have largely maintained output despite soaring case numbers in the South American country, though pressure has been mounting for companies to strengthen safety measures, even potentially at the expense of production.

Unions at Codelco, which has a workforce of about 60 000 including contract workers, said last week that nearly 3 000 workers had been infected.

Some unions and social groups have called on Codelco and other miners to halt operations around the mining hub of Calama, a desert city surrounded by some of Chile's largest copper deposits.

Chile's mining minister told Reuters this month that the government will prioritise the health of workers in its vital mining sector, even if it affects production.

Edited by Reuters


The functionality you are trying to access is only available to subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, you can Login Here.

If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe now, by selecting one of the below options.

For more information or assistance, please contact us at

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?