Chile mine strike raises fears for copper supply

Copper prices rose on Tuesday as a strike at the world’s largest mine of the metal entered its fifth day, stoking worries of a stalemate which could reduce supplies.

The Escondida mine, located in the Atacama desert in Chile, accounts for around 7 per cent of global copper production. Although the strike has been, so far, too short to have a meaningful impact on physical copper markets, investors and traders worry that the lack of negotiations between the miners and the company could lead to a prolonged outage and potentially extend to other mines.

RBC Capital Markets said in a note to clients that the strike was providing some support to the copper market, but warned: “These industrial actions are generally short lived.” Investors are, however, worried that the strike could continue.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2512c6c2-b7a5-11e0-8523-00144feabdc0.html

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