The strike will likely begin on Feb. 6 because the Vancouver-based company may seek to extend talks beyond Jan. 31, when the workers’ contract expires, Flores said by telephone today. The miners will complete voting on whether to go on strike later today, he said.
Global copper supply was disrupted last year by a series of strikes in Chile, Indonesia and Peru. Teck produced 86,200 metric tons of the metal at Quebrada Blanca in 2010, about 1.6 percent of Chile’s total output. The South American country produces about a third of the world’s copper.
In negotiations at its Andacollo copper mine, Teck used a Chilean law that allows mining companies to extend the negotiating period beyond the contract expiration date to reach an agreement with workers on Jan. 7.
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