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Anglo American Resumes Copper Production In Chile

LONDON (AP) ¿ Mining company Anglo American PLC said it planned to resume full production of its Chagres copper smelter in Chile on Wednesday, but damage from the recent earthquake would keep a plant near the city of Concepcion offline indefinitely.

London-based Anglo-American said that lost copper production because of Saturday's earthquake would be less than 1,500 tons.

The company's operations at Los Bronces, El Soldado and Mantoverde were also briefly interrupted in the wake of the disaster, resuming production on Sunday.

Anglo-American said minor damage was reported at most of Anglo-Americans core operations.

However, it said a Scaw Metals plant near Concepcion had experienced "considerable damage ... preventing the resumption of operations until further notice."

Scaw's site near Santiago has been less impacted, while a third site near Antofagasta is unaffected. Both those sites will reopen once safety inspections and remedial work is carried out, it said.

Production will be increased at other Scaw facilities globally to compensate, it said.

Anglo-American has been looking to sell the Scaw Metal's Group as part of its divestment program.

CEO Cynthia Carroll said the company was working with the government to support communities affected by the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that killed nearly 800 people.

"We are committed to the reconstruction of areas impacted by this tragedy by ensuring that we can partner with in government in providing relief," she said in a statement.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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