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Strike halts production of iron ore at Chinese mine in Peru

LIMA, Sept 22 An indefinite workers' strike has halted production and shipments of iron ore at Shougang Hierro Peru SD., a unit of China's Beijing Shougang Co , the company said on Thursday.

The mine declared force majeure, which allows the company to miss deliveries because of circumstances beyond its control, at the start of the strike 11 days ago, added General Manager Raul Vera.

Workers downed tools to demand an 8-soles ($2.38) hike to the daily wage of about 80 soles, but management has only offered an increase of 1 sol, said union leader Julio Ortiz.

"Yesterday we met with the company and the Labor Ministry, but nothing positive came of it," Ortiz said.

The mine, in the southern coastal town of San Juan de Marcona, produced 7.3 million tonnes of iron ore last year.

About 200 of the mine's 1,000 workers traveled to Lima to march downtown on Thursday, Ortiz said.

Vera said the mine has stockpiles of iron ore that it can ship when the strike ends. (Reporting By Teresa Cespedes and Mitra Taj; Editing by Alan Crosby)

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