Strike at Yamana Gold mine in Chile enters ninth day, shares fall

Shares in Yamana Gold (TSE:YRI) (NYSE:AUY) were down more than 2% in both Toronto and New York Wednesday morning after the miner confirmed its El Peñón mine in Chile has been suspended since Friday due to a strike that is expected to be joined by more unionized workers in the coming days.

Operations have been suspended since Friday after underground workers rejected the company's final offer and one of two unions went on strike.

Miners affiliated with union No. 2, which represents about 500 workers or almost 75% of the mine’s workforce, downed tools on Jan. 4 after rejecting the company's final wage offer. Two days later, they blocked the two access roads to El Peñón as a way to press management, local paper Diario Financiero reports (in Spanish).

The union demands a salary increase of 8% plus a transportation bonus. In its latest offer, Yamana offered a 2% wage hike and a transport bonus.

The mine’s other union will begin government-mediated talks with the company on Thursday, the last chance for both sides to reach a deal before those workers can also legally strike.

El Peñón is the Canadian company’s second largest gold mine by output. It produced 164,445 ounces of gold in the first nine months of 2016, or about 17% of Yamana's total gold output.

The stock recovered slightly in late morning, yet it was 1.66% down in Toronto to Cdn$4.15 at 11 am ET and had lost 1.73% in New York, trading at $3.12.

Strike at Yamana Gold mine in Chile enters ninth day, shares fall

Operations have been halted for six days. (Image courtesy of Codelco’s mine workers union)