MAC: Mines and Communities

Chile's Escondida Mine Losing Up To $16 Mln Daily On Strike

Published by MAC on 2006-08-16


Chile's Escondida mine losing up to $16 mln daily on strike

16th August 2006

SANTIAGO (MarketWatch) -- Chilean copper mine Escondida, controlled and operated by BHP Billiton PLC (BHP), will lose up to $16 million a day on the now 10-day-old strike, the mining company said in a Wednesday filing to the SVS local securities overseer.

Last week, in a separate filing, the company had said it wouldn't suffer any medium-term financial damages on the strike, as it had put a contigency plan into place to mitigate the impact of the walkout.

The company on Monday released its first half earnings, posting a $2.92 billion net profit, tripling its January-June 2005 net profit of $936.91 million. Escondida's first half earnings were the largest of all Chile's privately owned firms and the second largest of all firms after state owned mining giant Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile, or Codelco.

BHP Billiton PLC controls the Escondida operation with a 57.5% stake, while Rio Tinto PLC (RTP) holds 30%, a Mitsubishi Corp. (8058.TO)-led Japanese consortium 10%, and International Finance Corp. with 2.5%.

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