BHP Billiton's Escondida Hit By Strike, Copper Prices Rise Globally

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Chile’s Escondida copper mine, owned partially by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, encountered a sudden strike. About 2,500 workers stopped working, initially intended to last 24 hours.

“Labor action has been galvanized in mining powerhouse Chile as unions seek to get their issues heard ahead of the November presidential election,” according to Reuters. “Escondida produced 1.1 million tonnes of copper last year, about 20 percent of the output from No. 1 copper producer Chile.”

The copper cash price saw a 0.8 percent increase on Tuesday, August 13, reaching $7,245 per metric ton on the LME and making it the biggest mover for the day. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price inched up 0.8 percent to $7,270 per metric ton.

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The cash price of primary Japanese copper finished the market day up 0.6 percent per metric ton. Following a two-day rise, the price of US copper producer grades 102, 110 and 122 flattened.

Chinese copper wire prices rose 0.4 percent. The price of Chinese copper bar finished the market day up 0.4 percent per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price rose 0.4 percent as well. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap was unchanged.

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