SMM7, September 9: Chilean central bank data show that Chilean copper exports fell 15 per cent in June from a month earlier.
This is due to a two-week strike by workers at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in June, which reduced capacity to just 60 per cent during the strike.
And the strike led to a blockade of the road to the copper mine, which also affected the surrounding road to the El Abra copper mine owned by the Free Port Company (Freeport-McMoRan).
Industry consultants estimate that several days of strikes at the Chuquicamata copper mine have reduced production to about 10, 000 tons and cost Codelco more than $50 million. Last year, Chuquicamata produced 321000 tons of copper a year, accounting for 5.5 per cent of Chile's copper production.
A combination of factors led to a month-on-month decline in Chilean copper exports in June.
The exact impact of the strike on copper production is unclear, but the leaders of the Chuquicamata copper union say it will take longer than expected to restore normal operations at the mine.
Chile's National Bureau of Statistics will release data on June copper production in Chile on July 31.
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