Miners back at work at BHP's Escondida copper mine

Workers at BHP Billiton’s (ASX, NYSE: BHP) Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, halted the 24-hours “warning” strike over pay and working conditions they began Wednesday.

Most of the 4,800 people employed by BHP in Chile downed tools yesterday morning affecting between 20% and 25%of the country’s daily copper output, reports La Tercera (in Spanish).

Union leader, Marcelo Tapia, said workers are awaiting a response from the company, adding they will meet again on Friday night to evaluate the possibility of taking further actions.

Escondida is located 3,100 meters above sea level, in northern Chile, close to the city of Antofagasta. In 2012 its output reached almost 1.076 million tonnes of copper, 31.3% more than in 2011.

BHP Billiton owns the majority of with a 57.5% stake. Rio Tinto (30.0%), JECO Corporation (10.0%) and JECO 2 Ltd (2.5%) also hold shares in the copper mine.