June 28, 2019 / 4:43 PM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-Chile's Codelco says Chuqui copper mine fully operational following strike

(Adds quote from Codelco, details on miner’s decision to postpone inauguration, context)

SANTIAGO, June 28 (Reuters) - Chile’s Codelco, the world’s top copper miner, said on Friday its Chuquicamata mine was fully operational following a two-week long strike that had docked output from the sprawling deposit.

The three largest labor unions at the mine voted late Thursday to accept Codelco’s latest labor contract offer, officially ending the walk-off.

“The shift workers entered [the mine] as normal and Chuqui is operating at 100%,” Codelco told Reuters.

Chuquicamata, or “Chuqui,” one of Codelco’s key copper deposits, is undergoing a complex $5 billion-plus transformation into an underground shaft mine to counter plummeting ore grades. The change has meant job cuts in some areas, straining relations with workers.

The 14-day strike had raised fears of global supply shortfalls. Early in the strike, Codelco said it had been forced to slash production by as much as half.

Codelco said on Friday it had decided to delay the inauguration of the new portion of the mine, which had been scheduled for next Wednesday, but gave no further details.

Union leaders told Reuters they were pleased with the new contract, which included a bonus and loan options of as much as $20,000 per worker and strengthens details of the worker’s retirement plan.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Richard Chang

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