BHP Billiton

About 2500 workers have been on strike since February 9 at the Escondida mine in Chile’s north.

Owned by two Anglo-Australian mining giants, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Escondida is the largest producer of “red gold” in the world. The mine extracts about 900,000 tonnes a year. This represents 20% of copper production in Chile, the country with the largest copper reserves in the world.

A strike at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, entered its fifth day on February 13 with few signs of speedy resolution as workers threaten to stop production for up to two months.

Workers began a strike at the Australian-run BHP Billiton mine on February 9 to put pressure on the company after failing to reach an agreement in wage negotiations.

The union said its 2500 members are committed to action and threatened a two-month work stoppage, leading BHP to admit that it will not be able to meet its contractual obligations.

BHP Billiton executives faced dissident shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in Brisbane on November 17 over its responsibility for the Samarco tailings dam disaster in Brazil last year.

The protesters want Australia’s biggest company to compensate the victims. BHP jointly owns the iron ore mine with Brazilian mining giant, Vale.

Liverpool Plains' farmers are celebrating the New South Wales state government's decision, on August 11, to buy back BHP Billiton's Caroona coalmine licence for $220 million.

This comes after a struggle that began in 2008, when farmer Tim Duddy and the local community began a blockade that put a spanner in BHP Billiton's efforts to start drilling operations on his family's Rossmar Park property.

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