Anglo American says protest hits Los Bronces mine, ops unaffected

SANTIAGO, March 24 Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:11pm IST

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SANTIAGO, March 24 (Reuters) - Contract workers have begun a protest at global miner Anglo American Plc's massive Los Bronces copper mine in central Chile, but operations are unaffected, the company said on Monday.

In the early hours of Monday, protesters "took over" certain roads and installations within the deposit, the company said in a statement.

"There have been fires, looting, vehicle thefts and disturbances," Anglo said. "Operations at Los Bronces have not been interrupted and measures are being taken to guarantee the security of all the company's workers."

Contract workers are demonstrating against what they say are layoff threats and the London-listed miner's refusal to negotiate a series of demands.

The company says it has formally invited contract worker representatives to talk and hasn't heard back.

Los Bronces, perched high in the Andes near capital Santiago, produced 416,300 tonnes of copper last year.

Anglo owns 50.1 percent of the deposit. Chilean state miner Codelco and Japanese trading houses Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi also have stakes in the complex. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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