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Chile's March copper production mixed with drop at Escondida

SANTIAGO, May 4 (Reuters) - Copper production at most of Chile’s mines was mixed in March because of strong output from state-miner Codelco and Collahuasi but a continued downturn in production at BHP’s Escondida.

Chilean state Copper Commission Cochilco reported that Codelco’s production rose 0.7% this March compared to the same month the previous year to 148,700 tonnes, while Collahuasi - a joint venture by Glencore and Anglo American - posted a 5.2% year-on-year uptick in its production, to 53,000 tonnes.

However the world’s largest copper mine, Escondida, saw a drop in production for the eight month running, with a decline of 11.7% year-on-year to 89,900 tonnes.

Escondida has curtailed some operations since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and imposition of restrictions, including reducing cathode production.

The country’s total production was down 1.2% year-on-year in March to 488,700 tonnes, Cochilco said. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Aislinn Laing)

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