Power blackout hits Chile, shuts copper mines

September 25, 2011 04:15


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SANTIAGO - The Chilean capital Santiago experienced a widespread power blackout on Saturday that also shut down crucial mines in the world's top copper producer, officials and Reuters witnesses said.

The outage could put added pressure on struggling Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. Chile's power grid has been shaky since a massive earthquake early last year and critics blame under-investment in infrastructure.

Angloamerican said its Los Bronces mine was halted by the blackout and state-run Codelcosaid its Andina division and its El Teniente mine were also paralyzed.

The cause of the power outage was not immediately known.

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