UPDATE 2-Codelco says Salvador copper mine suspended as strike continues

miércoles 22 de julio de 2015 13:12 GYT

* Codelco contract workers' strike goes into second day

* Chile state copper miner says small Salvador project suspended

* Codelco warns that stoppage could cost it $27 mln daily (Recasts with Salvador project suspended)

SANTIAGO, July 22 (Reuters) - Top copper miner Codelco said on Wednesday that one of its projects had been suspended but most of its operations were unaffected as striking contract workers blocked access to mines for the second straight day.

Contract workers affiliated with the Confederation of Copper Workers, or CTC, went on strike Tuesday to demand the right to negotiate a benefits package similar to that offered to direct employees.

The union, which represents contract cleaners, drivers, miners and other workers, blocked roads and set up barricades at Codelco projects across Chile.

The company's Salvador division said on Wednesday that the strike, which it calls illegal, had forced it to completely suspend operations.

Salvador, located in the northern Atacama region, produced 54,000 tonnes of copper last year out of Chile's total 5.75 million, according to figures from state copper commission Cochilco.

Late Tuesday Codelco said the stoppages could cost it more than $27 million daily. The company, which hands its profits back to the state, reported about $3 billion in pretax earnings for last year.   Continuación...