Chile earthquake 2015: 8.3 magnitude quake sends London copper up to two-month high

Sarah Spickernell
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The metal has struggled recently due to a global oversupply (Source: Getty)
The major earthquake that hit Chile late last night has caused copper to rise to a two-month high on the London Metal Exchange.
Its benchmark value went up 1.1 per cent to $5,440.50 a tonne, following fears that the natural disaster would impact supplies from Chile, which is the world's biggest producer of the metal. The last time LME copper exceeded this was on 22 July.
The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8.3, occurred around 144 miles from the capital Santiago at 7.54pm local time. At least five people are known to have died, and tsunami warnings have been issued to Hawaii, Peru, California and New Zealand.
According to the US Geological Survey, three aftershocks with magnitudes greater than 6.1 struck the region shortly afterwards. Chile's deputy interior minister said it was the sixth most powerful earthquake to ever occur in the country.
Initially Coldeco, Chile's state-owned copper mining company, said in a tweet that workers had been evacuated from its Ventanas smelter and refinery. An hour later it confirmed that there had been “no damage to people or infrastructure”.

Copper has struggled since the start of this year, dropping to its lowest value in six years last month. Investors have been cautious about investing in the metal due to expected global oversupply this year and next, as well as slowing demand from China, its biggest consumer.

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