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Chilean copper miner Codelco halts Chuquicamata smelter and refinery amid coronavirus

Aislinn Laing

By Aislinn Laing

SANTIAGO, June 25 (Reuters) - Chilean copper miner Codelco said on Thursday it would halt operations at it's biggest smelter and refinery in Chuquicamata division in a measure to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus.

The world's biggest copper miner said the measure was "transitory" in nature and aimed at "reducing exposure, reinforcing preventive efforts and controls for the safety and health of people" working in the identified areas of the division.

The move comes as Chile faces its toughest weeks so far of the pandemic, with 259,064 cases and almost 5,000 deaths - three of them of Codelco workers.

(Reporting by Aislinn Laing Editing by Shri Navaratnam)