UPDATE 1-Teck suspends Quebrada Blanca output after ground movement

Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:10pm EDT
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(Adds details on mine halt, production)

TORONTO, June 25 (Reuters) - Canada's Teck Resources Ltd said it will suspend copper production at its Quebrada Blanca operations in northern Chile after unexpected ground movement was observed near an ore leaching plant on Thursday.

As a precautionary measure all copper cathode production had been suspended, Teck said, although mine operations not involving the affected plant were continuing.

The duration of the production interruption and impact on production are unknown, the base metals miner said. Teck said its preliminary investigation into the cause of the movement is expected to take at least one week.

The relatively small Quebrada Blanca project had output of some 48,000 tonnes of copper last year, according to figures from state copper commission Cochilco. Overall output in world no.1 producer Chile was around 5.75 million tonnes.

Teck is facing sanctions that could include permit revocation over environmental infractions at its separate Carmen de Andacollo copper mine in Chile, a local regulator said on Monday.

Shares of Teck, which holds a 76.5 percent stake in Quebrada Blanca, fell 5.7 percent on Thursday to end at C$13.13 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Susan Taylor in Toronto, Additional reporting by Rosalba O'Brien in Santiago; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)