Miners at Antofagasta’s Zaldivar copper mine in Chile have called a strike on July 15 as the company and the worker’s union failed to negotiate a new pay contract, according to local media. The threat of strike as well as the increased number of COVID-19 infection in Chile has pushed copper price to multi-month highs.
Latest offer presented by Antofagasta was voted down by the worker’s union, although both parties expect the government’s mediation to resolve the issue.
Copper production in Chile has not yet been impacted by the pandemic as most mining companies have continued with production and the government has supported them to help the economy. According to local media, close to 3,000 miners in Chile are infected with the virus. Unions have demand better safety measures for workers at mining operations.
In June, Chile’s largest copper producer Codelco had suspended work on projects in the Antofagasta region and reduced operations and expansion work at Chuquicamata division to control the spread of the virus.