BHP Billiton, striking Escondida union to meet Wednesday – by Felipe Iturrieta (Reuters U.K. – March 22, 2017)

ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE – The striking union at BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX)(BLT.L) Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world’s largest, will meet with the company on Wednesday to resume conversations, both parties said on Tuesday night.

In a letter sent to the members of the 2,500-member Escondida union, labour leaders said they would meet with the company in the hopes of putting an end to the 41-day strike, one of the longest in the history of Chilean mining.

A company spokesman confirmed to Reuters that a meeting would take place on Wednesday, adding that the time of the meeting would be coordinated on Wednesday.

“It’s possible that the solution to this negotiation could take several days more, so as a consequence, every member must keep alert for all scenarios,” the union leadership said in a letter sent to the rank-and-file and seen by Reuters.

Workers at Escondida walked off on Feb. 9, and copper production at the mine has been stopped since, sending global copper prices CMCU3 higher amid supply concerns.

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