• 4 minutes Tariffs to derail $83.7 Billion Chinese Investment in West Virginia
  • 9 minutes Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 17 minutes Kaplan Says Rising Oil Prices Won't Hurt US Economy
  • 24 mins Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 33 mins Saudi Arabia plans to physically cut off Qatar by moat, nuclear waste and military base
  • 16 hours Corruption On The Top: Netanyahu's Wife Charged With Misuse of Public Funds for Meals
  • 2 hours Why is permian oil "locked in" when refineries abound?
  • 5 hours Saudi Arabia turns to solar
  • 9 hours Russia's Energy Minister says Oil Prices Balanced at $75, so Wants to Increase OPEC + Russia Oil by 1.5 mbpd
  • 4 hours Teapots Cut U.S. Oil Shipments
  • 21 hours Gazprom Exports to EU Hit Record
  • 4 hours Oil prices going down
  • 5 hours Hot line, Macron: Phone Calls With Trump Are Like Sausages Best Not To Know What Is Inside
  • 18 hours U.S. Withdraws From U.N. Human Rights Council
  • 5 hours Putin Says 'Fierce' U.S. Politics Hindering Summit With Trump
  • 22 hours OPEC Meeting Could End Without Decision - Irony Note Added from OPEC Children's Book
  • 21 hours Could oil demand collapse rapidly? Yup, sure could.
  • 21 hours Sell out now or hold on?
  • 20 hours What If Canada Had Wind and Not Oilsands?
Alt Text

This Copper Giant Is Buying Into An Unexpected Frontier

Copper giant Codelco is planning…

Alt Text

The Mining Sector In This Troubled Nation Just Collapsed

Tanzania’s crackdown on the mining…

Alt Text

Busting The Lithium Bubble Myth

Lithium demand continues to grow…

Dave Forest

Dave Forest

Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.

More Info

Trending Discussions

Is The End Of The Escondida Strike A ''Disaster'' For This Mega-Mine?

Andes mine

Major South American miner Milpo dealt a major blow to the copper sector this past Thursday. Announcing that it will pull out of the Michiquillay project in Peru — one of the country’s largest undeveloped copper deposits.

Milpo cited government investment terms as a major reason for the company’s withdrawal. And elsewhere in South American copper, fiscal realities are looking ever more challenging for miners.
Like in world-leading producing nation Chile. Where BHP Billiton got some very tough news on labor terms at the world’s largest copper mine, Escondida.

The good news for BHP was the end of a 43-day strike at Escondida — with labor unions Friday officially announcing they will halt labor action here.

But there was also bad news for the mine’s owners: the method workers used to resolve the strike.
The Escondida labor action ended without workers and management coming to a new agreement on pay. Instead, workers used a loophole in Chilean law — which gives unions the option to continue under their previous contract terms for an additional 18 months.

That means workers get to push off wage negotiations until late 2018. And that may be a major problem for Escondida’s owners.

The issue is changes coming in Chile’s labor laws. As of April, it will become illegal to reduce previous benefits for workers — meaning that the current contract will become a floor for Escondida’s workers in any future negotiations.

The new labor laws will also make it illegal to replace striking workers. Substantially weakening management’s power when workers walk off the job from now on. Related: The Upcoming Surge In U.S. Oil Demand Explained In One Chart

Chilean labor experts thus called this week’s outcome a disaster for BHP. Saying that things are likely to stay tense between workers and management over the coming months and years.

The fallout appears to be starting already. With BHP saying late last week it is suspending two major capital projects in Chile — a desalination plant and an expansion of the Los Colorados concentrator plant.

All of which is a big blow for investor confidence in Chile’s mining sector. Watch for more cuts in activity and planned projects from BHP and other miners in the country.

Here’s to the bitter end.

By Dave Forest

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News