Peru
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Glencore Peru zinc miners strike drags on

Bnamericas Published: Monday, May 06, 2019

A strike by workers at Glencore’s Peruvian zinc unit, the Andean country’s second labor stoppage in a week, entered its fifth day, underscoring the spread of labor strife in the world’s second-largest copper, zinc and silver producer.

Workers, who downed tools on May 2 at the Swiss company’s Minera Los Quenuales subsidiary, which is made up of the Iscaycruz (Lima region) and Contonga (Ancash) zinc-lead-silver mines, staged protests at the labor ministry in Lima to press for a bigger share of 2018 profits, the country’s mining federation said.

Workers at the two mines are also demanding improved safety and health conditions.

Glencore’s press office did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

Workers at Minsur's San Rafael tin mine staged a one-day strike over profit-sharing last week. Workers also held strikes at mines operated by Buenaventura, Nexa Resources and Sierra Metals earlier this year as negotiations of annual wage bargaining pacts started at many of Peru’s mines.

Workers have also gone on strike over the past 12 months at operations owned by Trafigura Beheer, Shougang and Tahoe Resources.

Los Quenuales produced 25,582t zinc, 7,941t lead, 3,187t copper and 89,697kg silver last year, according to the energy and mines ministry (MEM). Glencore also owns stakes in Peruvian zinc producers Antamina and Volcan.

Peru kept zinc production steady at 1.47Mt last year, in addition to producing 289,195t lead (-5.7%), 2.44Mt copper (-0.4%) and 4.16Mkg silver (-5.8%), according to the ministry.

Zinc prices fell 33% on the New York Comex last year, followed by lead (-29%), silver (-18%) and copper (-16%).

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