Showing posts with label Escondida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Escondida. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chile Escondida copper mine union agrees to early labour talks

Unionised workers at the world's No1 copper mine, Chile's Escondida, have voted in favour of early labour talks with the mine's controller, global miner BHP Billiton, a union leader told Reuters on Tuesday.

Escondida's union stunned the copper market last year by staging a two-week strike, which sent the mine's output tumbling and raised the specter of an increase in labour action. Holding early talks this year suggests improved chances that the firm and workers can clinch a deal.

"We were invited by the company (to hold negotiations) and the workers accepted," Marcelo Tapia, a union leader at Escondida, told Reuters.

BHP declined to comment. Escondida's labour contract is set to expire next June.

BHP and Rio Tinto, which owns 30% of the mine, have approved plans for a $4.5-billion expansion of Escondida to boost output.

Escondida's third-quarter output surged 72.4% from a year earlier to 253 800 t, boosted by better ore grades and a low base of comparison from the year-ago quarter. Output in the January-September period was 787 000 t, up 31.6% from a year earlier.

The mining industry in Chile, the world's leading copper producer, is also bracing for collective negotiations at state copper producer Codelco's massive Chuquicamata mine. Most unionised workers at the century-old deposit have voted to start early contract negotiations, a union source told Reuters earlier this month.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Copper mine Escondida's output surges 72.4% in Q3

Output from Chile's Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, surged 72.4% in the third quarter compared with the same period of 2011, to 253 800 t, according to state copper commission, Cochilco.

The strong performance was helped by better ore grades and a low base of comparison from the year-ago quarter.

Escondida, which is 57.5% owned by global miner BHP Billiton and extracts about 7% of the world's copper, produced 787 000 t between January and September, up 31.6% from the same period of last year.

The mine's copper output plummeted 24.6% in 2011 to 819 261 t, its lowest level in nearly a decade, on sinking ore grades and a two-week strike.

Escondida Ore Access project set out to boost ore grades and a low base of comparison with the strike-hit third quarter of 2011 are seen having buoyed output in the July to September period of this year.

BHP and Rio Tinto, which owns 30% of the mine, have approved plans for a $4.5-billion expansion of Escondida to boost output.

A new 152 000 t/d concentrator plant and new mineral handling system will boost production to more than 1.3-million tons a year by June 2015.

Several mega deposits in Chile, the world's No 1 copper producer, are struggling this year, most notably world No 3 copper mine Collahuasi, amid stubbornly dwindling ore grades and operational trouble.

But the Andean country's copper output has picked up in recent months on improved ore grades and increased output at operations that started up in 2011.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter