Collahuasi Miners at Xstrata, Anglo’s Chile Unit End Strike

Workers at the Collahuasi copper mine, a joint venture between Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc in northern Chile, agreed today to end a strike over job dismissals after winning concessions from their employers.

“Early this morning, the workers carrying out an illegal strike inside the mine stopped their action,” Collahuasi said in a statement. “The 30 dismissals announced yesterday will be maintained and we will review the situation of the 32 dismissals” that were scheduled to be announced today, it said.

The workers union at Collahuasi agreed to abandon the mine site in exchange for a reduction in job dismissals, a union official, who isn’t an authorized spokesman and declined to be named, said by phone from the mine site. The union previously said the company will fire 62 workers.

Workers in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Indonesia have carried out strikes at copper, gold and zinc mines this year to push for improved conditions and a bigger slice of profits after metal prices surged. Workers at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia have been on strike since Sept. 15.

Some Collahuasi workers called for an indefinite strike on Nov. 28 to protest the job losses. The union carried out two one-day stoppages this year and downed tools for a month last year.

Anglo’s shares rose 5.6 percent to 2,439 pence at 4:09 p.m. in London after central banks agreed to cut the cost of emergency dollar funding for European banks. Xstrata rose 68 pence, or 7.2 percent, to 1,024 pence.

Pits Blocked

Workers had blocked the Ujina and Rosario open pits and ore stockpiles, according to the union. Production of copper concentrate was stopped, Collahuasi said yesterday in a statement. Output of refined copper was partially stopped and the company’s Pacific port was operating normally, it said.

The company said yesterday that only 10 percent of the workforce went on strike because of the dismissals.

Anglo American and Xstrata each own 44 percent of Collahuasi while a group led by Mitsui & Co. holds the rest.

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