On Wednesday, Canadian miner Teck Resources reported that United Steelworkers Local 7619, a union branch representing 1,048 workers at its Highland Valley Copper Operations in British Columbia, Canada, issued a strike notice.
The notice entitles the union to begin strike action following a 72-hour strike notice period and 48 hours after the mediator reports to the Labour Relations Board, making the earliest date strike action can take place 16 January.
The potential strike notice comes when both parties are negotiating a collective bargaining agreement, replacing the expired agreement. Negotiations between the two sides are ongoing, with both parties scheduled to meet on 14 January to try and strike a deal preventing a work stoppage.
Highland Valley Copper is the largest open-pit copper mine in Canada. It has been operational since 1962, producing both copper and molybdenum concentrates through autogenous and semi-autogenous grinding and flotation. Annual copper production from 2022 to 2024 is expected to be 135,000 and 165,000 tonnes per year.
The mine consists of several large deep pits, dug to expose low-grade copper and molybdenum-bearing ore deposits. A large tailings facility is maintained to support the operation, with two containment dams to retain the tailings from the environment.
The potential work stoppage will be the second one in the space of a year after wildfires forced an evacuation order on 14th August, leading all workers on site to be demobilised and moved to safety.