LIMA, Jun 29, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- A strike by workers at Peru's only iron ore mining company, the Chinese owned Shougang Hierro Peru SAA (SHPC1.VL), entered its second day on Tuesday.
"The strike continues today," said Raul Vera, Shougang Peru manager and engineer.
On Monday, a meeting at Peru's Labor Ministry to discuss the situation at Shougang failed to yield any immediate solutions. Vera has said there is a "big difference" between the annual pay increase offered by the company and what workers are asking for.
A union representative for the Shougang workers, Julio Ortiz, said Tuesday about 1,600 Shougang workers are on strike, demanding a daily pay rise of 9 soles ($3.50), which he said was "negotiable", while the company was offering PEN1.00.
Ortiz said about 200 policemen were at the Marcona mine site in southern Peru, about 500 kilometers from Lima. Shougang has faced a series of strikes in the last few years over pay deals. Ortiz said he hoped the company would not try to break the strike, which has the necessary approvals from the Labor Ministry.
During the last three-day strike at Shougang in March, Ortiz said eight workers had been injured in confrontations with police.
Chinese investments in Peru have been growing as the country seeks the mineral resources it needs. They include the $2.2 billion development of the Toromocho copper project, owned by the Aluminum Corp. of China (ACH, 2600.HK). Toromocho is expected to become Peru's largest copper mine by 2012.
Peru's exports to China are expected to reach $4.7 billion this year, following the signing of a trade pact between the two countries which came into effect in March.
Last year Peru's exports to China were worth about $4 billion, while Chinese imports into Peru were worth about $3 billion, said state news agency Andina.
Peru is the second largest producer of copper.