RPT-UDPATE 3-Chile court suspends order to halt Codelco smelter

 * Codelco says will normalize operations soon
 * Smelter produced 385,000 tonnes of copper in 2009
 (Recasts, updates with Codelco comment)
 SANTIAGO, March 31 (Reuters) - A Chilean court on Thursday
suspended an order to halt world No. 1 copper producer
Codelco's Ventanas smelter following an environmental incident,
and the state miner said it would normalize operations as soon
as possible.
 Codelco [CODEL.UL] had said on Wednesday it was preparing
to halt its Ventanas smelter, which produced nearly 385,000
tonnes of copper cathodes in 2009.
 "Codelco ... had started the first phases of the process of
halting its operations," Codelco's Ventanas division said in a
statement. "With this decision (of the court) that process will
be stopped and we will resume normal operations as soon as
possible."
 It was not immediately clear what impact, if any, there had
been on production. A Codelco source had said earlier on
Thursday it would take days to shut down operations at the
smelter.
 The Ventanas smelter was halted for planned maintenance
this month, but belched acrid smoke when one of the ovens was
restarted, prompting a complaint by nearby residents and the
evacuation of a local school.
 Codelco had said on Wednesday the court closure order was
unjustified. The plant had been operating normally since
resuming operations on March 24, following the maintenance.
 Energy and Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said earlier
on Thursday Codelco must take steps to avoid a repeat of the
environmental incident.
 "Codelco has been investing on reducing emissions, but it
obviously hasn't been enough to avoid events like the one last
week," Golborne told an investor forum.
 "It will have to get itself up to date."
 (Reporting by Fabian Cambero and Erik Lopez; Writing by Simon
Gardner; Editing by David Gregorio)


RPT-UDPATE 3-Chile court suspends order to halt Codelco smelter