The new police unit has already had some success, arresting 11 people and seizing about 60 tons of mineral stolen from the copper mines.
ESCONDIDA Mining News
After a near 5% drop on Wednesday, news that a strike had been averted at the world's largest copper mine put a cap on hopes of a recovery for the bellwether metal.
If company and union leaders reach a consensus, the mediation would be further extended for several days so the 2,459 workers can vote to accept or reject the new offer.
Called off strike at world's largest copper mine adds to pressure on copper price now down nearly 20% in little over two months.
Chile's copper industry on Monday braced for the announcement of a potential strike at the world's biggest copper mine, Escondida.
Copper bears could get caught wrong-footed as a strike looms at the world’s biggest mine.
Mining companies around the globe are joining an industrywide push for gender equality and launching initiatives to increase the proportion of women working in mine pits, smelters and refineries.
The union had earlier asked the company to negotiate by 10:00 a.m. local time but said in a statement later on Monday that it had begun preparing for a strike.
BHP said final wage offer rejected on Thursday was "best collective labor contract at a private mine in the country."
Workers at BHP Billiton Ltd's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, have voted to reject a company wage offer and go on strike.
Union members have until Wednesday to finish voting on the company's proposal.
The vote began on Saturday and will continue through the middle of next week.
BHP has offer workers a signing on bonus of $27,000, up from an earlier offer of $23,000, plus a 1.5% salary increase, but still well under the bonus up to $43,000 and 5% increase demanded by Escondida’s union.
Labor negotiations at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, are frozen without signs of progress.
The possibility of a strike was talked about over the weekend.
A common target for the thieves is Antofagasta Plc’s logistics unit Grupo FCAB, which owns and operates about 700 kilometers of railway lines used to transport cathode and semi-processed copper.
Labor negotiations are entering into the final three weeks before a 30-month contract expires at the end of July.
Labour negotiations in the copper mining industry still left to resolve - including Escondida - represent about 2.6 million tonnes out of global copper supply.
Up nearly 4% after union at world's only 1 million tonne copper mine demands owner BHP makes biggest bonus payout ever to Chilean mineworkers.
The official deadline to start contract discussions begins in June.
The union accepted an offer to begin early negotiations with the Anglo-Australian miner in March to avoid another strike at the northern Chile mine.
While appetite for copper-mining assets is picking up, a supply crunch is imminent, experts say.
Failure to reach a labor deal caused a 44-day strike at the mine last year.
Last year, a more than month-long strike at Escondida ended with workers opting to extend their previous contract through July 31 of this year instead of replacing it.
Union claims BHP has laid off about 3% of the mine's workforce without a "legitimate reason."