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Strike forces BHP to close Spence copper mine in Chile, union leaders say

A workers' strike forced BHP Group to shutter its Spence copper mine in Chile, Reuters reported Oct. 24, citing union leaders.

The strike was reportedly launched in support of ongoing nationwide protests against a hike in public transport costs. Workers at BHP's Escondida Norte mine also recently downed tools to join the demonstrations.

The unrest also prompted Lumina Copper Corp. to reduce its workforce at the Caserones copper mine, while Anglo American PLC adjusted operations at its flagship Los Bronces copper mine, which is still operating normally, according to the report.

Meanwhile, unionized workers at the Collahuasi copper joint venture of Anglo American and Glencore PLC rejected a strike, the report said, citing union President Felipe Roman.

Chilean state miner Codelco resumed normal operations Oct. 24 after unions halted a general strike across its operations.

In the first quarter of its fiscal 2020, BHP's copper cathode output from Spence increased year over year to 47,500 tonnes from 29,200 tonnes.