Is This The Final Week For The World’s Largest Copper Mine?
– Dave Forest: I’ve been essay a final few weeks about brewing problems during a world’s largest copper mine: BHP Billiton’s Escondida operation in Chile.
And this week, it’s break time for that vicious project.
BHP has been operative on a new agreement with mineworkers’ unions during Escondida for months now. With reports rising that a dual sides are log-jammed over compensate demands.
And a deadlock between workers and owners came to a conduct final Friday. When unions voted to launch strike movement – with leaders observant they were prepared to idle Escondida for adult to dual months if necessary.
The strike was scheduled to start today. But BHP gained a last-minute postpone over a weekend – by filing for intervention with supervision labor authorities in Antofagasta, where a cave is located.
That pierce strictly prevents workers from distinguished for 5 days. Meaning a strike will be pushed to subsequent week if a dual sides are incompetent to find a fortitude by mediation.
A fortitude seems unlikely, given how distant detached workers and government seem to be on labor demands. With unions reportedly requesting $25 million in bonuses and a 7% income boost – while BHP is charity only $8 million bonuses and no compensate increase.
If a strike does go ahead, BHP has asked unions to say smallest services during a mine. A ask that kinship heads are reportedly still analyzing.
If a unions confirm against, we could see Escondida close down completely, really soon. Perhaps for an extended duration of time.
That would roughly positively give a lift to copper prices. Both since of a tangible supply intrusion from this pivotal cave – and since a labor movement here could tempt workers during other operations opposite Chile to take identical action.
We’ve still got a few days for government to lift this one out of a fire. Watch to see if a fortitude does materialize, and for ceiling movement in a copper cost early subsequent week if a strike does go ahead.
Here’s to unresolved in a balance.
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