June 5, 2020 / 4:17 AM / a month ago

Austral Gold reaches pay hike agreement to end strike at flagship mines in Chile

June 5 (Reuters) - Austral Gold Ltd said on Friday a near one-month long strike by two unions ended at its flagship Guanaco and Amancaya mines in Chile after reaching an agreement to increase pay and benefits by 15% along with a one-time bonus.

The Australia-listed miner that is focussed on Argentina and Chile said its flagship mines would restart operations next week, and it does not expect a major hit to its 2020 output forecast of between 55,000 to 60,000 gold equivalent ounces.

Workers represented by two of three unions at the Guanaco and Amancaya mines went on strike on May 11 after failing to reach a three-year labour agreement. The two unions represent 254 employees, the company said.

Under the three-year agreement to end the strike, workers will get a bonus of about $13,000 each, which is expected to cost the company $3.5 million.

“This has been a difficult bargaining process and we settled on what we believe to be a fair agreement for the Company and for the employees of Union No. 1 and No. 2,” Chief Executive Officer Stabro Kasaneva said in a statement. (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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