top of page

Global Copper Supply At Risk As Workers Vote To Strike

Workers at the world's largest copper mine have voted to go on strike, overwhelmingly rejecting owner BHP Group's final pay offer, in a move that will fuel concerns about the metal's global supply.

In voting this week, 99.5% of 2,175 members of the main union at Escondida choose to pressure BHP into offering better terms in a new three-year contract, the union said in a statement late Saturday. Labor rules in Chile give either side the option to utilize at least five days of government mediation before a strike can begin. BHP confirmed it will request mediation in a bid to reach a deal.

The potential for disruption at the 1.2 million metric ton mine last year fluctuates in the copper market amid strong demand and high prices. Futures are up about 5% in the last two weeks. The same union that pressed Escondida for a larger share of the copper shook the market with a 44-day halt in 2017.


bottom of page