SANTIAGO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Global miner Anglo American said on Friday that it will lay off 10 percent of staff, equivalent to 150 workers, at its El Soldado copper mine in central Chile as a steep slide in metals prices forces it to cut costs.
"Current market conditions have put (El Soldado's) operational continuity at risk. That's why we have reviewed a number of options that will allow us to avoid having to close it and have come up with this optimization plan that we are now putting in place," said Hennie Faul, the head of Anglo's copper business.
Anglo said that El Soldado, which produced 36,000 tonnes of copper last year, will be able to achieve a balanced cash flow from operations in 2016 as a result of the changes it is implementing.
Under the plan, Anglo sees El Soldado's plant production increasing and savings created through operational efficiencies.
Anglo announced plans in December to whittle down its business to cope with severe falls in commodity prices. The plan involves offloading three-fifths of its assets. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Dan Grebler)