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Aurubis Closes Smelter in Hamburg Because of Fire

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July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Aurubis AG, Europe’s biggest copper refiner, closed a smelter in Hamburg last night because of a fire, losing about a day’s worth of production.

Repairs probably will take until noon local time on July 19, the Hamburg-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Other melting facilities in the primary smelter, where the fire occurred, will run at reduced capacity until then, it said. Property damage will be no more than 150,000 euros ($194,800), Aurubis estimated.

The fire broke out at about 5:30 p.m. after molten copper leaking from a furnace ignited cabling, according to the statement. As many as 120 firefighters were in action, most of whom were able to leave the plant by 9 p.m.

The shutdown cost about 1,300 metric tons of output, the statement shows. The smelter can process about 3,000 tons a day of raw materials, or copper concentrate, according to Aurubis spokeswoman Michaela Hessling.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Stablum in London at astablum@bloomberg.net; Alex Webb in Frankfurt at awebb21@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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