MCX BASE METAL UPDATE

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MCX BASE METAL UPDATE

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Copper futures jumped, on news that workers at the Escondida copper mine in Chile, the largest in the world, were set to strike on Thursday. Workers at Chile’s Escondida mine, the world’s largest copper-mining operation, are expected to strike on Thursday after unsuccessful talks between union officials and management, led by BHP Billiton Ltd., the mine’s largest union said. On Tuesday, union officials at Escondida said they were no closer to a deal with BHP Billiton’s majority-owned Minera Escondida, which it accused of being “very rigid” in negotiations over wages and benefits for workers at the mine. “The position the company has taken doesn’t allow us to see a solution to the conflict,” the mine’s largest union, Union No. 1, said in a statement. “The union and its more than 2,500 workers will continue with its contingency plan to start the strike on Thursday.” The Escondida mine in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile accounts for roughly 5% of global output. BHP manages the operation and holds a roughly 58% stake. Other investors include Rio Tinto PLC and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. Expectations of a possible strike at the mine have helped push copper prices higher this year. The mine will stop producing copper if workers strike, Minera Escondida said in a statement.

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