SANTIAGO, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- A strike that has paralyzed the world's biggest copper mine in Chile dragged into its 13th day on Tuesday, with no end in sight.
"The duration of the strike at Escondida Mine will depend on how much the money they (the owners) want the country to lose," miners' union spokesman Carlos Allendes said.
Copper is Chile's leading export, and each day the strike continues represents a loss in output of more than 3,400 tons of copper, according to the Mining Ministry.
With each side accusing the other of intransigence, initial talks on Monday between the miners' union and Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton failed to end a work stoppage that began on Feb. 9 and pushed copper prices to levels not seen in almost two years.
While miners demand a seven percent wage increase among other benefits, "BHP Billiton reported profits of 3.24 billion U.S. dollars in the second half of 2016, eight times more than the profits in 2015," Radio Cooperativa's news website reported.
Escondida produces 5 percent of the world's total copper supply.