Los Pelambres - Concentrate Pipeline Incident
On 31 May Los Pelambres detected a leak in the underground pipeline that transports concentrate from the concentrator plant to the port at Los Vilos. The pipeline was immediately shut down and the location of the leak identified. Preliminary assessment shows no indication of any environmental damage.
Full access to the site is currently being blocked by some members of the community who are in discussion with the local authorities and representatives of the Company. Once access is obtained the required repairs will be completed.
The mining operations and processing plant continue to operate, but with limitations due to road access restrictions and with the concentrates being stockpiled at the plant. Once the pipeline has been repaired the stockpiled material will be transported to the port using the spare capacity in the pipeline resulting in some rescheduling of sales and shipments.
An assessment of the causes of the leak is underway and any resulting recommendations will be applied to the concentrate pipeline and the new replacement pipeline that is currently being designed and permitted, which is expected to be in operation by 2025.
The full year impact on production will depend on the duration of the shutdown and if the standstill has created any conditions requiring further actions. Currently, the impact on Group copper production is expected to be limited to within the current full year guidance range, which remains unchanged at 660-690,000 tonnes, and subject to any revision following full access to the pipeline and repairs being completed.
Capital expenditure in bringing the pipeline back to normal operations is not expected to be material.
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