Skip to main content

BHP to Stop Copper Output at Spence Mine, Union Says

By Nathan Gill and Matthew Craze
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- BHP Billiton Ltd. will cease production of refined copper tomorrow at its 200,000-ton-a-year Spence copper mine in Chile because of a strike, a union leader said.

Workers stopped mining on Oct. 13, leaving BHP without enough raw materials to be turned into refined copper, union president Andres Ramirez said today in a telephone interview.

Workers at Spence rejected an Oct. 12 wage proposal that was less than what miners received at BHP’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine. Escondida workers won a one-time bonus worth 14 million pesos ($25,410) and a pay increase of 5 percent a year over five years, Santiago newspaper La Tercera reported Oct. 11, without saying how it got the information.

“Refined copper production is going to collapse,” Ramirez said. “By tomorrow they won’t be producing anything.”

Ruban Yogarajah, a BHP spokesman based in London, said refined copper production continues at a “reduced rate” at the mine. He declined to say if production would stop tomorrow.

He also wouldn’t comment on talks between management and the union representing about 560 workers in an e-mailed response to questions. BHP is based in Melbourne.

Copper futures for December delivery rose 1.45 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $2.859 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex unit. Copper for delivery in three months rose $69, or 1.1 percent, to $6,289 a metric ton ($2.85 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange.

Spence will produce about 100 metric tons of refined copper today, compared with a normal average of 700 tons, Ramirez said.

BHP Production

BHP produced 172,685 tons of copper at its Spence mine in the 12 months through June 30 and has plans to reach full capacity of 200,000 tons in the coming year, the company said in its annual report on Sept. 14.

Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, is also due to negotiate new wage contracts with workers at mines in Chile by year-end. Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. reached a wage agreement with their workers on Aug. 1, ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline, the New Orleans-based company said Aug. 7.

BHP is negotiating new labor agreements at the Antamina mine in Peru where workers contracts have expired. BHP and Xstrata Plc each hold a 33.75 percent stake in the Antamina mine, while Teck Resources Ltd. has 22.5 percent and Mitsubishi Corp. owns 10 percent.

BHP fell 1.6 percent to 1,811.5 pence in London trading.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …

"Open" and "Closed" Regionalism Theories

(Apr. 3, 2008) The terms "Open" and "closed" regionalism refer to the degree in which regional blocks allow nonmember nations to access their markets. In this sense, an "open region" is one with few, if any, external trade restrictions while a "closed region" can be defined as one whose external trade policies seek to restrict commerce with nations outside the region.Closed regionalism as practiced in Latin America grew out of the policy suggestions made by UN ECLAC/CEPAL school of dependency theory in the early 1960s. As discussed earlier, proponents of this policy argued that states should form regional alliances with a series of trade barriers against foreign products to foment regional industrialization and assure captive local markets for these manufactured goods. The failure of this system of integration to meet Latin America's economic goals became apparent during the 1980s and was further highlighted by the strong economic performanc…

Greetings From Gringolandia

Bloomberg Businessweek, March 28 — April 3, 2016
Susan Lamy and her husband, Jean Pierre, owned a successful interior design business in Westport, Conn., but they still worried about how they would make ends meet in retirement. “Just paying for the basic necessities was killing us, and we could see that there was no way that we would ever be able to stop working,” says Lamy. 
The search for an affordable retirement spot led the couple to Cuenca, a Unesco World Heritage site in Ecuador’s southern Andes. They settled there in 2013 and now live in a spacious apartment with a terrace overlooking the Yanuncay River. Lamy says she and her husband enjoy a high standard of living in Cuenca for around $2,500 a month, paid for by their Social Security checks: “This seemed to be the best possibility for having a really terrific life on a fixed income.” 
The combination of a subtropical climate, well-preserved colonial architecture, and low cost of living has made Cuenca a magnet for North Ameri…