SANTIAGO May 10 Workers at BHP Billiton's
Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile temporarily
blocked a road leading to the facility on Wednesday, protesting
a series of layoffs and what it calls the company's hostile
attitude, the main union told Reuters.
The protest came roughly a month and a half after a
fractious 43-day strike at BHP's much larger Escondida copper
mine in Chile.
By midmorning the protest had ended, and it was not clear if
there had been any impact on production.
The company could not be reached immediately for comment,
but union president Marcelo Franco told Reuters that workers
were scheduled to meet with the mine's manager today.
"We've established that the company has maintained a hostile
attitude toward the workers," the union said in a statement.
The protest occurred just hours after BHP officially started
a sales process for the mine, one of its smaller operations in
Cerro Colorado, which together with the Spence mine forms
BHP's Pampa Norte division, produced 74,000 tonnes of copper in
Banking sources have named Chile's Empresas Copec SA
and Canadian companies such as Lundin Mining Corp
as possible buyers for the deposit.
(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing
by Jeffrey Benkoe)