Unions representing miners at Codelco-Chile of Santiago, Chile, are demanding a new round of discussions with the copper mining company before it creates a new division at the Teniente mine, a union leader said.
Hugo Alan, a leader at Union Number Eight at Teniente, said a recent meeting to discuss the issue with Alejandro Noemi, the company's chief executive officer, and Maximo Pacheco, vice president of operations, was positive. But unions are not convinced of the need to spin off the mine's maintenance department into a separate division.Mr. Alan did not discard the possibility of a strike if workers were not consulted in the creation of the new division.
"We feel the move could be the beginning of a privatization process," Mr. Alan said. He added that talks with unions will begin in earnest only when Pedro Courard, Teniente's general manager, presents unions with a timetable for the creation of the maintenance division.
Mr. Noemi told unions that the maintenance department would have to be separated from the mine because it ran at a $4 million loss last year and the figure could double this year, Mr. Alan said.
Curragh Inc. of Canada, meanwhile, is planning to cut lead and zinc concentrate production by about 10 percent in 1993 through temporary shutdowns of the mining operations at Faro, Yukon, company chairman Clifford Frame announced Thursday.
In 1991, Curragh's Faro production of lead and zinc concentrates totaled 487,800 metric tons. The company didn't provide production data for 1992, and company officials were not available for comment.
The Faro mine will be closed for 32 days next year, Mr. Frame said, but didn't offer dates for the closure.
Curragh anticipates that there will be a worldwide surplus of concentrates through mid-1993, he said, adding that the company's decision to lower production will help reduce the current worldwide surplus of concentrates.
Also, Curragh announced a two-week shutdown of the Faro mine over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, which follows a 21-day shutdown for maintenance purposes in August. The release offered no dates for the closure.