Major copper mine in Chile closed by storm

Chile`s state mining giant Codelco -- the world`s top copper producer -- called off operations at one of its largest facilities Sunday due to a major storm that has killed at least five people.

Santiago: Chile`s state mining giant Codelco -- the world`s top copper producer -- called off operations at one of its largest facilities Sunday due to a major storm that has killed at least five people.

"At Chuquicamata, work was suspended at about 1700 GMT since the rain is potentially very dangerous for workers on the job," a Codelco statement said.

The Chuquicamata mine, located 1,650 kilometers (1,000 miles) north of Santiago, produces around 339,000 tonnes of copper per year, making it one of the company`s most productive sites.

Codelco produces 11 percent of the world`s copper.

At another Codelco facility in the northern Atacama region, work has been halted for nearly three weeks by strikers seeking wage hikes.

Chile is the world`s number one producer of copper and produces one third of the world`s total output.

Three of the people killed by poor weather died in a mudslide caused by heavy rains in the northern region of Antofagasta, and two others died in the Valparaiso area, the National Emergency Office said.

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