Earthquake in northern Chile April 1 did not damage Arauco's pulp mills or CMPC's pulp and paper mills, operations not affected, company officials say

LOS ANGELES , April 2, 2014 () – The magnitude 8.2 earthquake that struck Chile’s northern coast Tuesday did not affect the pulp mills of Celulosa Arauco y Constitución SA (Arauco) or the pulp and paper mills of Empresas CMPC SA, according to contacts in both companies.

Of the companies’ mills, Arauco's Constitución pulp mill was the closest to the affected area. An Arauco official told Industry Intelligence it was partially evacuated but did not stop operations.

He said emergency personnel stayed to run the company’s mills and to start emergency shutdown procedures if necessary, but this did not prove to be necessary.

A CMPC official said the earthquake was about 3,000 km (1,864 miles) north of CMPC’s mills so it was not felt in the area. He noted that most of the mills are not near the sea, so there was “no damage at all to the production facilities” or to personnel.

Early reports indicated that six people in the north had been killed by collapsing structures or heart attacks. The earthquake prompted a tsunami alert along the coast of Chile that was later lifted. Waves of up to six to seven feet did hit some areas of Chile, according to local news reports.

CBS News reported today that mining in Chile, which is the world's top copper producing nation, was not affected. But it said world prices for copper jumped as the quake raised supply concerns because most of the Chilean mining industry is in the northern regions.

Both Arauco and CMPC suffered major damage to their mills in the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on Feb. 27, 2010, which also badly damaged the country’s transport infrastructure.

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