Anglo American halts work at Los Bronces mine in Chile after violent protests by contractors

SANTIAGO, Chile – British mining company Anglo American Plc has halted operations at its Los Bronces copper mine in Chile, saying it wants to guarantee safety of its employees after violent protests by contractors.

Los Bronces is in the Andes cordillera 65 kilometres (40 mile) from the capital of Santiago. The company’s website says the mine produced 365,000 metric tons of fine copper in 2012.

Anglo American said in a statement Monday that it decided to evacuate the mine’s workers after contractors took over roads leading to Los Bronces by setting mining truck tires on fire and vandalizing the mine.

The company says it is open to talks with worker unions.

Its says normal operations continue at all other Anglo American mines in Chiile, including Mantos Blancos, Mantoverde, Chagres and El Soldado.