SANTIAGO Workers at Anglo American's (AAL.L) Los Bronces copper mine in Chile began a strike on Friday after rejecting the company's final offer in collective wage talks, Anglo said on Friday.
The stoppage began early Friday, the company told Reuters, adding that it was too early to determine the impact the strike would have on operations.
"The company regrets the rejection of an offer that it considers fair and responsible in the context of the current conditions of the mining industry in general and Los Bronces in particular," Anglo said in a statement.
A steep fall in the copper price has left mining companies pushing to cut costs. Workers at state-run Codelco's small Salvador mine are also on strike after failing to reach an agreement, heralding potentially tricky contract talks at Chile's larger deposits later this year and in 2017.
Anglo had offered more than 1,700 unionized workers at Los Bronces, its flagship copper mine in Chile, a bonus equal to around $13,000, plus other benefits.
The union could not immediately be reached for comment.
Los Bronces is the major operating mine in the Anglo American Sur complex, which produced 437,800 tonnes of copper last year, out of top copper exporter Chile's total 5.76 million tonnes.
Anglo holds just over 50 percent of the venture, with state-run Codelco [COBRE.UL], and Japan's Mitsui (8031.T) and Mitsubishi (8058.T) also holding stakes.
(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by W Simon and Frances Kerry)