The Anaconda Co. has followed the lead of another major copper producer in announcing a shutdown of part of its mining operation.
In a statement released here today, chairman John Place said the company will close its underground mine at Victoria, Nev., indefinitely beginning Sept 1 because of the depressed state of the world copper market. The mine employs 151 persons.
Last week, the Duval Corp. announced that it will lay off about 2,000employees and close three sites in Arizona and one in Nevada for six weeks beginning Aug. 8 for the same reasons.
Slacking demand a burdensome world surplus, high production levels and labor troubles now plague the copper industry.
Twenty - one thousand workers remain on strike against Anaconda and five other producers over the proposed terms of a new three - year contract.
The Duval Corp. has been unaffected by the strike. Its contract expires Sept. 30 and negotiations on a new pact have not yet begun, according to Duval's industrial relations director Marsh Campbell.
The Kennecott Copper Corp., the nation's largest producer, settled its remaining local issues with the United Steelworkers Union Monday night, ending the strike by 9,500 of its workers in five states.
The copper strike continues against Anaconda, which is part of Atlantic Richfield Asareo Inc., the Cities Service Co., Inspiration Consolidated Copper Co., Phelps Dodge Corp. and U.S. Metals and Refining Co.
Negotiations are coninuing between the Steelworkers union and all the firms except Asarco. Union spokesman Cass Alvin said bargaining talks were broken off with Asarco management last week in San Francisco.
The Kennecott settlement, which was also accepted by Magma Copper Co., includes a wage increase of 85 cents an hour over three years. That high level would put some other producers out of business and industry analysts believe, which is why they expect the current strike to last for months.
"The producers can better afford to sit out the strike, since they have ample inventories and their clients have surpluses in stock, than they can to settle for 85 cents," one New York metals analyst said.