Miners at Codelco‘s Chile-based Chuquicamata copper mine called off their strike over pay on 6 January 2010 and returned to work, with mine operations resuming.

The Codelco miners went on strike after rejecting Codelco’s earlier proposal for pay, which involved a $23,000 end of negotiation bonus, a 3.8% increase in wages and $6,000-worth of low interest rate loans, saying it was not in line with offers made after strikes closed other South American mines.

The Chuquicamata miners, however, voted to end the strike after approving Codelco’s new wage proposal on 5 January 2010.

The new proposal provides miners with $24,000 bonuses, a 4% hike in salary and low interest loans worth $6,000.

The strike, which helped buoy copper prices, has impacted production at the mine with initial estimates indicating output losses of 1,200t of copper a day.

Codelco said it will try to compensate for the losses in output over the coming months to ensure that it does not impact the company economically.

In recent months, Chile has witnessed several work stoppage threats and strikes as miners are demanding a higher share in profits with copper prices recovering from a sharp decline in 2008.