Aug 24 (Reuters) - Recovering copper prices could mean
trouble for mining companies in top producer Chile as they head
into contract talks with workers eager to reap the benefits of
the red metal's upswing.
Chile's No 1 producer state-run Codelco and giant miner BHP
Billiton are scheduled later this year to negotiate collective
deals with thousands of workers at their main mines
Chuquicamata and Escondida, the world's biggest.
Key collective contracts are due around the time Chileans
head to the polls on Dec. 13 to choose a new president.
Any disruption in Chile's copper supply could further lift
the red metal's prices that surged to 10-1/2 month highs in
mid-August after plunging from historic record-level around $4
The following table lists the major Chilean mining labor
contracts that will expire in 2009 and early 2010.
OPERATION EXP DATE OWNER 08' OUTPUT
Spence 30/09/09 BHP Billiton 164,761 tonnes
Escondida 05/12/09 BHP Billiton 1,255,009 tonnes
Chuquicamata 31/12/09 Codelco 315,000 tonnes
Cerro Colorado 30/01/10 BHP Billiton 104,200 tonnes
* Information complied from companies and government data
For main story click [ID:nN2477449]))
(Santiago newsroom; Editing by Jim Marshall)