Coal workers in Colombia at the La Jagua mine of Glencore’s Prodeco unit have reached a two-year compensation deal with the company after a five-week walkout, union officials said on Monday.
Colombia is the world’s No. 5 coal exporter and La Jagua — one of two mines run by Glencore’s Prodeco — has some of the Andean nation’s highest quality coal.
The workers will receive a 5 percent increase the first year and 1.5 percent the second year, Joaquin Romero of the Funtraenergetica labor union told Reuters.
Another union official said that work at the mine would resume from 1800 local time and that the deal included a signing bonus of 1.5 million pesos ($806).
Glencore said it would issue a statement later.
Workers had staged a walkout since June 17 over working conditions. Latin America has a history of tense relations between mining companies, unions, indigenous people and environmental groups.
Coal prices have not moved much durng the walkout, stuck in a tight range as the market remained focused on Asian demand, especially in China. Traders said there were some concern that the strike could affect prices if it continued.
Coal prices for cargoes delivered into Europe and FOB South Africa’s Richards Bay were around 75 cents to $1 a tonne lower on Monday and ignored the strike’s end.
U.S.-based Drummond — another of Colombia’s top coal exporters — avoided a walkout in June when it reached a three-year deal. The company said last week it was considering a partner for its Colombian operations.
Colombia’s mining regulator has said that coal exports could hit 72 million tonnes this year, up from 66 million tonnes last year.
La Jagua’s coal is a niche market material when not blended, industry sources say. Prodeco operations consist of La Jagua and Calenturitas mines. It has its own port facilities.
La Jagua has such a high-energy, low-sulphur coal that it often gets sold as pulverized coal for use in steelmaking. Calenturitas’s thermal coal is used for power generation. (Jack Kimball / Reuters)