SANTIAGO, March 31 (Reuters) - Codelco, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, declared force majeure over the weekend at a strike-addled mine in the northern part of Chile that produced about one-fourth the company’s output last year.
The Radomiro Tomic open pit mine was shut down on Saturday by workers demanding that the company fire managers they blame for the recent accidental death of a miner. Nelson Barria died in a March 23 landslide at the mine.
Radomiro Tomic, Codelco’s most productive mine, yielded 428,000 tonnes of copper in 2012. The local miners union says their work stoppage will continue until a solution is reached.
The company declared force majeure late on Saturday and was expected to talk publicly about the matter latter on Sunday.
Codelco’s output skidded 5.1 percent last year due to dwindling performance at its massive, ageing deposits in northern Chile, which dragged down production to its lowest level since 2008. (Reporting by Faboan Andres Cambero, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)