The copper market has continuously been plagued with labour disputes for years, however, this year strikes have been especially prevalent with workers believing that they are entitled to larger pay cheques and benefits as they perceive that their employers are “raking in the cash” on the back of high metals prices.
Chile Mining News
Chile is proceeding with a massive coal mine on an island in Patagonia near the southern tip of South America despite a high-profile viral video protest campaign and accusations that billionaire President Sebastian Pinera's shareholding in the developer Copec constitutes a serious conflict of interest. A similar campaign last year forced Pinera to reconsider a thermoelectric plant close to another wildlife attraction and a recent poll put his approval rating at only 26%, below even that of dictator General Pinochet, who ruled the country for 17 years from 1973.
The mine operated and controlled by BHP Billiton Limited said that the 15 day illegal strike at the Escondida copper mine in Chile didn't have a relevant impact. As Escondida produces roughly 1.09 million tonnes of copper a year, press reports estimated
The world's top copper miner, Chile's Codelco, will likely post a bigger profit this year than in 2010, the chairman of the state-run company said on Friday.
Despite a report on Wednesday showing a surge in July, China's copper imports were still down 22% in the first seven months, suggesting slowing demand in the world's top copper consumer is adding to concerns that shaky western economies will knock prices further. However, according to a new study by Canaccord the copper mining industry is operating under 'a high degree of stress' and called robust copper prices the 'new normal' thanks to supply shortages. More than 500,000 tonnes of production have been lost this year due to weather delays, poor deposit grades, worker strikes and mill problems, mostly in Chile, the world's number one producer.
Copper prices may remain above $4 a pound in coming months, driven by a recovery in demand from China, according to Codelco, the world's largest producer. Chinese inventories seem to have decreased and now the industry is catching up again," Diego Hernandez, chief executive officer of the Chilean state-owned company, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Output from Chile, the world's largest copper producer, may miss a target of 5.6 million metric tons in 2011 by 5 percent because of project delays, weather disruption and strikes at mine sites. Codelco plans to spend about $20 billion this decade to boost annual production to meet forecast rising global demand for copper.
Miners voted Friday to end a two-week long strike at the world's largest copper mine, La Escondida in northern Chile, approving an agreement struck by their union and management. Escondida employees accepted a management offer of a special production bonus for 2010, a year in which the mine had record earnings, a spokesman for the mine's largest union said. Image of the Escodida mine, by BHP Billiton.
New Gold, which owns mines in Mexico, the US and Australia, and is also developing projects in Canada and Chile said second-quarter earnings rose to $49.8 million from a year-earlier profit of $14.1 million. Quarterly gold sales volumes rose 15% to 95,039 ounces, while revenues rose 52% to $171.6 million. New Gold also reiterated that it expects to produce between 380,000 to 400,000 ounces of gold this year, at cash costs of $390 to $410 per ounce.
Bloomberg reports Antofagasta Plc, the copper giant controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, on Wednesday said second-quarter output increased 17% boosted by additional ore from the Esperanza mine in Chile that began shipping at the start of the year. Antofagasta is actively diversifying outside of its home base and is awaiting the outcome of a joint bid for a mine in Pakistan that has the potential to add 200,000 tonnes of copper annually.
Following a 24-hour strike, operations at Chilean copper mine Dona Ines de Collahuasi returned to normal, the company and the workers' union said.
Reuters reported that miners from Chile to Indonesia have staged strikes to demand a bigger share of a global copper boom, stoking supply fears and boosting prices.
Unionized workers at Chilean copper mine Dona Ines de Collahuasi downed their tools Saturday, the sole mine union said on its Twitter page. The strike comes on the heels of a now week-long stoppage at Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, which is fueling supply concerns in the copper market and driving prices higher. While Collahuasi represents about 3% of global output, Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, accounts for 7% of annual global copper production.
Disagreements over a bonus scuttled a potential labor deal at the world's biggest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, union leaders said on Friday, the eighth day of a strike that has fed worries about global supplies of the metal.
BHP Billiton Ltd. has declared force majeure on exports from the world’s biggest copper mine, as a mine workers’ strike entered its eighth day. The strike at BHP’s Escondida mine in Chile, which supplied 7 per cent of the world’s copper last year, comes in a month of widespread mining strikes from Indonesia to South Africa. BHP's Escondida mine (pictured) has been the site of an 8-day strike in Chile.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Chile, and the Chile International Centre of Excellence in Mining and Minerals Processing have created a new mining research centre based in Santiago, Chile, reports Australian Mining.
Chile's copper output tumbled 8.5 percent to 426,477 tonnes in June after a contract workers' strike, heavy rains and power outages hit operations at the world's top copper producer, the government said on Thursday.
Chile's Escondida copper mine on Wednesday declared force majeure on copper concentrate sales amid a six-day strike that has hit output at the world's top deposit. The mine is owned by global miner BHP Billiton (BHP.AX: Quote) (BLT.L: Quote) and produces about 7 percent of the world's mined copper.
Gold mining shares fell yesterday as strikes loom in the sector. AngloGold Ashanti lost 3.13 percent to R293.27, Harmony Gold slid 2.78 percent to R94.30, and Gold Fields fell by 2.60 percent to close at R104.20.
Mitsui Mining, other Japanese companies sign $1.4 billion loan pact with banks for Chile resources project
Dow Jones )- Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. (5706.TO) and other Japanese companies said Tuesday that their joint venture in Chile has signed a combined $1.4 billion loan pact with banks to finance their copper and molybdenum mining project. The Japanese
Xstrata, the fourth-largest global diversified miner, had reported a drop in copper output in the first quarter, hit by severe weather conditions at its Collahuasi mine in Chile.
Bloomberg reports BHP workers in Chile voted Sunday to extend their strike at the world’s largest copper mine. Stoppages at BHP’s Australian coal operations may resume this week. Thirty thousand South African coal mine workers including Anglo American and Xstrata employees walked off the job Sunday and may be joined by 160,000 gold industry workers. Strikes that started over the weekend are impacting output from mines of diamond giant De Beers. Workers are seeking a larger slice as global producers report record earnings: Melbourne-based BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, is expected to report full-year profits of $22.5 billion next month, almost double 2010’s net income. Xstrata may report record 2011 profit of $7.3 billion and Anglo American $7.4 billion, estimates show.
Workers at the world's biggest copper mine in northern Chile downed their tools over the weekend as part of an indefinite strike over unmet contract demands. About 2,300 workers of the Escondida mine, under majority control of British-Australian giant
The largest union at Chile's Escondida copper mine voted to "indefinitely" extend a strike at the mine, which is controlled by global diversified miner BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP, BHP.AU), union leader Jose Vidal said Friday. Members of 2,350-strong Escondida Mine Workers Union No. 1 "unanimously voted" to extend the work stoppage, which began Thursday night and was initially slated to end 24 hours later at 8 p.m. EDT on Friday, Vidal told Dow Jones Newswires.
The President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera has split the mining and energy ministry into two, replacing Laurence Golborne with Hernan de Solminihac and Fernando Echeverria, respectively, in the two posts.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said Thursday the country's copper giant Codelco will remain state-owned in a bid to ease fears that the company will be privatized. Codelco, the world's largest copper-producing company, "belongs to all Chileans," and any attempt to privatize it was to be ruled out, Pinera said.