September 3, 2014 / 10:14 PM / 4 years ago

Workers declare strike at Mauritanian gold, copper mine

NOUAKCHOTT, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Workers went on strike on Wednesday at the Guelb Moghreine copper and gold mine in Mauritania over a salary dispute, a union source said on Wednesday.

The strike has resulted in a “total halt to production and the closure of facilities,” said Mohamed El Mamy Ould Habiboullah of union CNTM, one of several unions participating in the strike.

The mine, owned by Mauritania Copper Mines (MCM), a subsidiary of Canadian-based metal miner First Quantum Minerals , produces around 15,000 tonnes of concentrate a month.

It is located about 250 km (160 miles) from the seaside capital Nouakchott in the Inchiri region.

Habiboullah said the strike, which has no end date, was declared after negotiations collapsed over taxes on employee salaries. A senior source at MCM declined to comment.

Mauritania has reserves of iron ore, copper and gold and is seeking to boost production, although many reserves are trapped in remote desert facilities without access to the sea. (Reporting by Kissima Diagana; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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