SANTIAGO (Scrap Register): Chile Copper production plunged by 16.7 percent year-on-year to 376,948 metric tons during the month of February this year and the lowest monthly figure for exports in almost six years, statistics institute INE informed.
The drop largely reflects the effect of a 43-day strike at the BHP Billiton-controlled Escondida mine, the world’s largest copper operation.
The strike, which halted all production at Escondida from February 9, ended last week when workers agreed to return to work without a new pay agreement with management.
Other factors included stoppages at operations due to extreme weather during the period and unscheduled maintenance work.
With mining accounting for nearly 10 percent of its economy, Chile has suffered from falling commodities prices in recent years along with other countries in the region.