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Codelco closes Andina as copper operations disrupted by general strike in Chile

Codelco shuttered its Andina copper mine and reduced operations at its other divisions as the Chilean state miner felt the impact of a general strike launched by unionized workers amid ongoing protests in the country, Reuters reported Oct. 23, citing a company statement.

The workforce at the company's Ventanas copper smelter was decreased to ensure the security of the facilities, while the Salvador division was operating partially. Six of Codelco's eight divisions were carrying on with the majority of their operations, the report said.

Unionized workers at BHP Group's Escondida copper mines also recently downed tools in solidarity with the protests. Antofagasta PLC has said it expects to potentially lose about 5,000 tonnes of copper output this year due to the protests.

The unrest has yet to make a significant impact on copper output in the country, according to the newswire. Chile is the world's biggest copper exporter, accounting for close to a third of global output.

At least 15 people have died due to the demonstrations sparked by a hike in public transport costs, the report said.