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Copper up on strike action in South America

The copper price has breached US$7,000 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange for the first time in a month due to strike action at major South American copper mines which could continue this week.

Staff reporter

Copper > Research

Copper up on strike action in South America

The copper price has breached US$7,000 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange for the first time in a month due to strike action at major South American copper mines which could continue this week.

Staff reporter

Copper up on strike action in South America

Strike action is likely to resume this week at Escondida

Workers at the BHP-controlled Escondida copper mine in Chile went on strike for 24 hours on Friday over lay-offs and what the main union Sindicato No 1 described as "various breaches and infringements" by operator Minera Escondida.

In a translated statement, the union said company executives had not committed to resolve the issues and the strike action would be reiterated in this week's relay shifts.

The operation was hampered earlier this year by a 44-day strike that resulted in a 23% drop in copper output from the world's largest copper mine.

Meanwhile, workers for the two largest unions at Southern Copper (US:SCCO) in Peru went on an indefinite strike last week demanding a fair share of mining profits but the company said operations were not affected, Reuters reported.

It is the third strike this year at Southern Copper's Peru operations over failed profit-sharing negotiations, BN Americas said.

Southern Copper mined 221,579t of copper in the September quarter at an operating cash cost per pound net of by-product revenues of 90c, in an average LME copper price environment of $2.88/lb.

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