Supervisors at Escondida evaluate proposal, extend talks

Reference image of Escondida, the world’s top copper mine. (Image courtesy of Rio Tinto)

Supervisors at Chile’s Escondida mine said they were evaluating a new labor contract proposal from mine operator BHP amid negotiations to head off a strike at the world’s largest copper deposit, the union told Reuters.

The union of supervisors at the sprawling Escondida mine last week rejected BHP’s final offer in contract negotiations, but both parties agreed to extend talks this week.

The union told Reuters talks would continue through Oct 16.

Several labor negotiations at mines in Chile, the world’s top copper producer, have supported copper prices in recent weeks. Though the sprawling Escondida mine could continue to operate even if supervisors walked off the job, a strike could lead to production bottlenecks or slowdowns.

Escondida produced 1.19 million tons of copper in 2019.

(By Fabian Cambero and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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