Here's What We Know Right Now About The Earthquake's Effect On The Chilean Copper Industry

chile copper


The copper market re-opens tomorrow evening, and earthquake-struck Chile is the world’s major player.Here are some key background facts courtesy of

  • Chile accounts for 30% of the world’s reserves. 
  • Its share of global production is even higher, at 35%. 
  • 17% of the countrys’ exports go to China. The US, France, and South Korea account for another 30%.
  • Copper accounts for 40% of the nation’s exports.

Now, here’s some of what’s known right now, courtesy of Reuters:

  • About one-fifth of the country’s production has already been suspended.
  • The mines closest to the epicentre of the quake are Anglo-American’s Los Bronces and El Soldado. They produce 280,000 tons per year.
  • The main state-owned firm Codelco is only expected to be closed for two days. (Wikipedia: Codelco).

Bloomberg also has an assessment and notes that most mining is done well to the north of the quake, and that so far, miners are saying they’re largely unscathed. Rio Tinto says its prize Escondido copper mine (the world’s biggest) is not affected.

As for oil, Platts is reporting that all refining has been shut down, taking 230k b/d off the market.

So the initial flash doesn’t sound too bad. But here’s what we’re waiting to hear: What is going to be the effect on transportation of copper? To what extent will the destruction and various waves effect sea-based exports?

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.