EFESantiago de Chile

Chile President Gabriel Boric Friday said the state-owned copper producer would begin the closure of the troubled Ventanas smelter after dozens fell ill due to an environmental emergency in the vicinity of the plant.

Codelco decided to close the facility after a peak in sulfur dioxide emissions in the area affected hundreds of high school students and teachers in the region in recent weeks.

"Codelco's board of directors has decided to move toward the closure of operations at the Ventanas Smelter," the president said. EFE