SMM6, 24 Feb: on Saturday, local time, three trade unions at the Chuquicamata copper mine voted against the latest Codelco contract plan, with 55 per cent of the miners rejecting the latest contract plan.
Under Chilean labor regulations, the Codelco can redraft a new contract for a vote within five days, so the strike will last at least until June 28.
But Codelco also said that under labor regulations, miners can return to work on June 29, which also represents the automatic acceptance of the contract proposed by the company.
During the strike, the Chuquicamata copper mine maintained capacity of 50 per cent to 60 per cent.
The strike is likely to have a broader impact as smelters and refineries under the Chuquicamata copper project deal with copper mines from northern Chile, which accounted for about half of the 1.68 million tons of copper produced for the whole of last year.
Codelco has spent $5.5 billion to close Chuquicamata's old mine and turn it into a modern, semi-automatic mine. This means that the company will make a certain degree of layoffs, creating tension between the company and the miners.
Codelco does face a lot of challenges this year. The company produced only 342000 tons of copper in the first quarter, down 18 per cent from a year earlier. Pre-tax profits also fell 31 per cent from a year earlier to $372 million. "correlation Analysis-[SMM interpretation] the tightening pattern of strike copper mines in Chuquicamata Copper Mine is still intensified.
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