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BHP Billiton ends force majeure at Escondida copper mine

BHP Billiton Group ended the force majeure at its majority-owned Escondida copper mine in Chile, Reuters reported June 1, citing the company's chief commercial officer, Arnoud Balhuizen.

The company declared force majeure at the mine after employees downed tools in response to a failed wage agreement.

The strike lasted 43 days and is estimated to have cost the company about US$1 billion.

Balhuizen noted that force majeure on the coal shipments from its mines in Queensland, Australia, is still in place. The company declared force majeure at the Queensland operations due to the damage caused to the rail infrastructure by Cyclone Debbie.