(Alliance News) - Taseko Mines Ltd on Monday said it has suspended operations at the Gibraltar mine in British Columbia after it failed to reach an agreement with Gibraltar's union representatives.

The company's unionised workforce had informed Taseko that they planned to take strike action as of midnight on Friday last week.

Shares in the Vancouver-based copper producer fell 14% to 190.00 pence each on Monday morning in London.

"The company elected to systematically shut down mining and milling operations prior to the midnight deadline, and the mine is now on care and maintenance with only essential staff operating and maintaining critical systems," Taseko said.

According to the company, the Gibraltar copper-molybdenum mine is the second largest open-pit copper mine in Canada and the largest employer in the Cariboo region.

Taseko said it remained committed to the bargaining process and reaching a fair and equitable agreement.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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