August 22, 2019 / 12:12 AM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-Chile's Codelco shuts down its Ventanas copper smelter for maintenance

(Updates with further comment from Codelco)

SANTIAGO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Chile’s Codelco, the world’s top copper producer, said on Wednesday it had shut down its Ventanas smelter along Chile’s central coast for maintenance.

The state miner said in a brief statement the facility had been closed since Monday.

The company later on Wednesday told Reuters that the shutdown was expected to last through Sept. 3, but that it would not impact production.

Codelco’s Ventanas facility came under scrutiny last year after more than a hundred local residents sought medical treatment for nausea and vomiting following a gas leak in the industrial zone where it operates.

The company, which recently launched a plan to reduce emissions from its smelters, has denied responsibility in the incident. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero; writing by Dave Sherwood; editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)

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