Xstrata Copper

Xstrata Copper

June 11, 2007 17:04 ET

Xstrata Copper: CCR Refinery Union Executive Breaks Off Talks With Management and Launches Strike Action

MONTREAL-EAST, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 11, 2007) - The Union Executive at Xstrata Copper Canada's CCR Refinery at Montreal-East has decided to break off negotiating with the help of a conciliator and commence strike action.

"We are disappointed that the employees chose to go on strike. Since the start of negotiations last April, we have respectfully held talks with the union, and we believed that it was still possible to do so constructively without interrupting operations," said Bruce Dumville, General Manager of Xstrata Copper Canada's CCR Refinery.

"We believe that we brought to the table offers that balance the interests of the employees with those of the refinery. The metallurgical industry is a cyclic industry and is independent of the mining industry. Our earnings have dropped sharply this year, and we foresee little improvement in the coming years. We therefore need to continue to plan together for the long term," added Mr. Dumville.

The metallurgical industry, as is the case for the entire manufacturing industry in Quebec and Canada, is strongly affected by factors over which it has no control, such as the rising Canadian dollar and the strong Asian competition in an already saturated market. Both have resulted in a sharp reduction of refining charges and the disappearance of mechanisms for participating in the price of copper.

CCR Refinery has deployed its contingency plan which covers all unforeseen events for the sake of protecting the company's assets and those of its clients. As a responsible manager, the company must always be prepared to deal with every situation. Even so, the goal still is to sign a new collective agreement.

"It is impossible for us to say at this stage how long the strike will last or what impact it will have on the refinery," concluded Mr. Dumville.

The company has published the details of its offer on its intranet website, to which all employees have access.

No meetings with the union are currently scheduled.

Notes to editors

Xstrata plc

Xstrata is a major global diversified mining group, listed on the London and Swiss stock exchanges. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Xstrata maintains a meaningful position in seven major international commodity markets: copper, coking coal, thermal coal, ferrochrome, nickel, vanadium and zinc. The company also has recycling facilities, additional exposures to gold, lead, silver and cobalt and a suite of global technologies, many of which are industry leaders. The Group's operations and projects span 18 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Germany, New Caledonia, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, the USA and the UK.

Xstrata Copper

Xstrata Copper is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, with regional offices in Santiago and Antofagasta, Chile; Lima and Arequipa, Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Toronto, Canada, and is one of the commodity business units within the major global diversified mining group Xstrata plc.

Xstrata Copper's mining operations span five countries and comprise mines, mineral processing plants and port facilities in North Queensland, Australia; mining and processing operations and port facilities in Chile, Peru and Argentina in South America; and mining and processing plants in Canada. It also has a recycling business (Noranda Recycling) with plants in Canada, the United States and Asia. Xstrata Copper is the fourth largest global copper producer, with annual managed production of over one million tonnes.

Contact Information

  • Xstrata Copper Canada
    Louis-Philippe Gariepy
    Manager, Corporate Affairs
    (514) 645-2311, x 2162