MELBOURNE, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Rio Tinto Plc has declared force majeure on some copper cathode contracts after shutting the smelter at its Kennecott mine in the United States following an accident on last week, a spokesperson said on Thursday.
"The work needed to safely restart operations at the smelter is currently being assessed. We are working closely with our customers to minimise any impacts," the spokesperson said in emailed comments.
Rio Tinto said it had declared force majeure on some contracts for copper cathode and acid after the Kennecott smelter was shut due to a release of molten copper on Sept. 21.
Force majeure is triggered when a company cannot meet its contract obligations due to unforeseen circumstances.
Kennecott, in Utah, produced 82,100 tonnes of refined copper in the first half of 2021. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Lincoln Feast)