SANTIAGO, Nov 04, 2011 (Dow Jones) -- Workers at Chilean copper mine Lomas Bayas, owned by diversified global miner Xstrata PLC (XTA.LN), signed a contract agreement which went into effect on Tuesday, the company said Friday.
The agreement, which was negotiated ahead of the legally-mandated schedule, was reached with 555 workers, averting the possibility of a strike.
Of the workers, 458 were members of a union whose contract was due to expire in April and the other 97 workers weren't unionized and had contracts expiring in December. They represent 54% of the mine's total workforce.
Last year, Lomas Bayas produced 71,800 metric tons of copper in the form of cathodes, or large sheets of 99.99% pure copper. Xstrata is evaluating a $1.6 billion investment to increase annual output to 140,000 tons.