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Chile miners say trucker strike a threat to supplies

Kitco News


SANTIAGO, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Miners in Chile, the world's largest copper producer and second largest lithium producer, said on Wednesday an indefinite strike by truckers threatened supplies to operations in the north of the country.


Caravans of truckers protesting over issues such as high fuel prices and the need for better security have been striking since Monday when they set up roadblocks in the mining regions of Tarapaca and Antofagasta.


In a statement on Wednesday, the truckers said the action would continue indefinitely.


Chile's National Mining Society (Sonami), which represents small, medium and large-scale miners, said the free transit of goods, especially fuel, must be guaranteed.


Jorge Riesco, president of Sonami, said in a statement that the blockades were "preventing the normal transit of trucks with supplies".


There was no indication of disruption to mine production.


Large copper mining companies have not reported changes in operations due to the roadblocks.


BHP said it was operating normally while Canada's Teck said it had taken advance precautions for its operations and projects.


(Reporting by Fabian Andrés Cambero; Writing by Alexander Villegas; editing by Barbara Lewis)
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