November 30, 2016 / 1:22 PM / 2 years ago

Anglo American's Chilean copper mine still shut by protestors

SANTIAGO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Anglo American Plc’s Los Bronces copper mine in Chile remains closed because of an illegal occupation by protesting contract workers, the company said on Wednesday.

The protestors seized the installations on Saturday, the second such occupation at the mine this month, and demanded better contract terms and benefits similar to those of staff workers.

Los Bronces “remains suspended, and will continue to be suspended while not in condition to operate safely,” Anglo said. “The company is ready to assume the implied costs.”

Miners in Chile, the world’s No. 1 copper exporter, have traditionally saved money by using outsourced labor for some work. But increasing disputes with contract workers mean many are looking to bring more jobs in-house.

Last year, state copper company Codelco was hit by a series of strikes by contract workers that forced it to halt operations at a number of mines temporarily.

Los Bronces is Anglo’s main copper operation in Chile. Codelco, Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi Corp also own stakes in the mine.

Last year, the Anglo American Sur complex, which includes Los Bronces and the smaller El Soldado mine, produced 437,800 tonnes of copper out of Chile’s total 5.76 million.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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