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Codelco begins preparations to resume suspended projects and operations

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Global Mining Review,

After designing a complete plan, which includes robust protocols in the field of occupational health and safety, and which is adjusted to the context of each of the localities in which its centres are located, Codelco is preparing to resume its suspended projects and operations.

The first step of this gradual and protected return will begin week beginning 10 August 2020 in Chuquicamata Subterránea, Chile. a project that has been suspended since 20 June 2020, when it was defined to maintain a workforce only to ensure minimum services (structural and security controls, support to the operation and basic activities) and which budgets to progressively reach its peak provision in January 2021.

In this first stage, Codelco will continue without using the Calama airport. In this way, the transfer of people coming from outside the city will be done in sealed buses from the Iquique and Antofagasta airports directly to the camp. All workers will be tested in their place of origin, prior to entering their work or traveling to Calama. The 14 x 14 shift systems and the use of the camp will be maintained to protect the low mobility in this city.

Reincorporating the personnel of Chuquicamata Subterránea is a critical issue to complete the macroblocks in the north and south of the mine, so as not to impact the production commitments of the division and not produce effects in smaller companies, whose endowments are mainly local (over 80%). The project has been audited twice by the regional health authorities.

Meanwhile, the Chuquicamata smelter began to heat its furnaces last weekend to resume its processes. This plant prepared the return to operations in coordination with the workers, such as the health tests for all the teams, its own and collaborators, in addition to other logistical, infrastructure and security definitions that ensure the return to a protected environment. It should be noted that at the end of week beginning 27 July 2020 the facilities were inspected by the Health and Mining Seremi, authorities that verified compliance with the sanitary measures.

Meanwhile, El Teniente's project portfolio, which considers the Andes Norte, Andesita and Diamante projects, and which temporarily halted construction on 4 July 2020, also began detailed planning of their return for the next few weeks.

Among the measures that were defined to increase protection against the coronavirus is the testing prior to entering the shifts and the qualification of the camp for workers from outside the region, in addition to the maintenance of other complementary measures, such as the installation of hard barriers in different facilities, to avoid physical contact between staff.

Codelco reiterates its commitment to impose the highest safety standards to protect the health of workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, maintain operational continuity and build the future of the company to ensure maximum surpluses for Chile.

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