World's largest copper mine hit by surprise strike

|By:, SA News Editor

Workers began a surprise strike today at Chile's Escondida copper mine - the world's largest - to demand improved working conditions and pay; the work stoppage is planned to last 24 hours, but the miners union says the timeframe is being evaluated.

BHP Billiton (BHP +0.4%) and Rio Tinto (RIO -1.2%) each own 30% of Escondida, which produces ~20% of Chile's annual copper output; workers at BHP's Spence and Cerro Colorado mines also joined the labor action.