Protesters exit Anglo's Los Bronces mine

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

A group of protesters who stormed into Anglo American's Los Bronces copper mine in central Chile over the weekend left the facilities on Wednesday night, putting an end to a five-day standoff between the company, contractor companies and workers.

Anglo personnel entered the mine on Thursday morning to evaluate the facilities which were "severely damaged," the resource giant said in a statement.

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Personnel from Chile's mining and geology service Sernageomin and environmental regulator SMA are due to visit the facilities to assess the impact and damage, the company said.

Anglo suspended operations at what is its flagship Chilean asset on Sunday after hooded individuals entered the mine the previous day for the second time in a month. Another group of protesters forced their way into the mine on November 17.

The company said it will move forward with legal procedures to determine responsibility for the "violent incidents."

Anglo is serving as a mediator between contractor companies that provide services to Los Bronces and the subcontracted workers' federation, after the latter requested a revision of a 2014 agreement due to expire in April.

The mining group's Anglo American Sur division, comprising Los Bronces (pictured) and the smaller El Soldado mine along with the Chagres smelter, produced 437,800t copper in 2015. Production between January and September this year was down 16.2% to 266,200t.

Anglo controls Anglo American Sur with a 50.1% share. Chilean state copper giant Codelco and Japanese trading houses Mitsui and Mitsubishi also have stakes in the unit.