SANTIAGO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Chile´s Candelaria copper mine,
owned by Canada's Lundin Mining, announced it planned
to suspend operations beginning Tuesday after two of its unions
called on their workers to begin strikes.
In a statement late Sunday, the company said it made the
decision to halt operations to ensure the safety of its workers.
"Given the constant blockades, the attacks on our staff and
facilities that put the safety of our workers at risk...
Candelaria has decided to suspend its operations as of October
20," the mine said in the statement.
Candelaria´s "Mine Union" began a strike on Oct. 8, while
the "Candelaria Union" said it would walk off beginning Oct. 20.
Both unions failed to reach agreement with management on new
collective labor contracts.
The company reiterated in a statement its willingness to
continue talks. The unions, however, have said the company has
tried to impose its own conditions during the negotiations.
Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica in a statement on Monday
encouraged both parties to reconvene to find a solution to the
"I know this is difficult for them, and I think it is time
to make a special effort," he said.
Several labor negotiations at mines in Chile have helped
underpin the copper price in recent weeks, raising the stakes in
talks between workers and management at several key deposits.
Candelaria is a relatively small mine. It produced 111,400
tonnes of copper in 2019 and had reached 74,200 tonnes as of
August this year.
(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Dave Sherwood;
Editing by Louise Heavens and Marguerita Choy)