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Digital media consultant and journalist. Passionate about history.

Chilean copper giant Codelco records 3,215 cases of COVID-19; nine fatalities

Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, has registered a total 3,215 COVID-19 infections and nine deaths due to the pandemic, the chairman of the firm said on Monday, as pressure rises on production of the red metal. Chile’s copper miners have largely maintained output despite soaring case numbers in the South American country, though pressure has been mounting for companies to strengthen safety measures, even potentially at the expense of production.

Funds buy into a copper rally fuelled by China and Chile

Hedge funds are starting to buy into the rally in copper, which continues to build upside momentum. London Metal Exchange (LME) copper hit a two-year high of $6,633 per tonne on Monday. At a current $6,490, it is now up 5% on levels at the start of the year, having clawed back all its COVID-19 losses. What’s attracting investors back to the copper market is the current bullish mix of strong Chinese demand and fragile Chilean supply.

WOM set to enter Chile’s fixed broadband market with FTTH services

Chilean mobile operator WOM has partnered with digital enablement and revenue management software provider Alepo to enter the fixed broadband (FTTH) market. Set for a July 2020 launch, the project will be an entirely remote implementation to work around ongoing COVID-19-related travel restrictions. With this project, WOM expects to acquire over 500k subscribers within the first year and eventually build up to 1.5 million subscribers by the end of 2023.

Chile’s lithium miners consume 65% of Atacama region’s water

Nearly 65% of the water in Chile’s Salar de Atamaca region is used to pump out brines from drilled wells. This has caused groundwater depletion and pollution, forcing local quinoa farmers and llama herders to migrate and abandon settlements. It has also contributed to environment degradation, landscape damage and soil contamination, warned a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Latin American will contract 9.4% and leaders ask IMF, IDB, World Bank for support

The International Monetary Fund has projected a 9.4% contraction of the GDP, worse than the 4.2% estimated in April. In a teleconference, the presidents of nine Latin American countries -including Chile- discussed with the senior executives of the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank ways to handle the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Latin American leaders asked for more solutions, including a “possible restructuring” of debt.

Chile central bank maintains interest rate at 0.5%

Chile’s Central Bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.5%, as expected by the market as the country suffers its most painful weeks so far of the coronavirus outbreak. Chile has kept its interest rate steady since successive cuts up until late March, when it warned of a “severe” economic contraction as a result of the virus spread.