“At this stage we don’t see a major impact on the Chilean economy; I think the effects of this coronavirus pandemic are still limited,” finance minister, Ignacio Briones told foreign journalists in Santiago. Chilean exporters to China - chief among them fruit growers, paper firms and miners - had reported delays and logistical problems but no interruption in orders, Briones said. Chile sends around 30% of its exports to China and 50% of its copper.
Copper prices were down Wednesday due to fears of the rapid expansion of the coronavirus. At 0712 GMT, three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) yielded 0.4% to $ 5,662.50 per ton. The most quoted contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) lost 0.5% to 45,480 yuan ($ 6,485.28) a ton. Copper prices, used as an indicator of economic health, have been affected as China is the world's largest user of that metal and the main importer of Chilean copper.
Golden Arrow Resources Corporation revealed that a drill program had kicked off at the Indiana gold-copper project in Chile - a near-term production target. Initial work includes a minimum of 2,500 metres in 12 holes, to test the Bondadosa, Flor de Espino and Rucas veins, the firm said. The project is within an Iron-oxide-copper-gold belt that includes deposits such as Manto Verde, Candelaria and Cerro Negro Norte.
The Chilean ambassador to China, Luis Schmidt, reported that Chilean copper exports have not shown any inconvenience in their entry to ports, according to their conversations with shipping and importing companies. However, he pointed out that port activity is slower after an extended weekend and food income is being given priority, so that shipments of cherry and other Chilean fruits are not experiencing major difficulties either.