The union representing workers of the AES Gener power company in northern Chile plan to strike on July 13 due to a failure to conclude a new collective agreement with company bosses. A strike would affect the mines of state copper company Codelco, as well as BHP's Escondida and Spence, and lithium producer SQM in the Antofagasta region. Chile's copper unions have been calling for a suspension of mining operations to prevent workers and their families being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Global Care Capital Inc. is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, ViraxClear, through its joint venture, Shanghai Biotechnology Devices Ltd. has received approval from El Instituto de Salud Pública de Chile for the distribution of COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Test Kits. ViraxClear has signed a non-binding LOI with Biosonda Biotecnologia for the distribution of up to 3 million test kits for the Chilean market, a contract valued at up to $17.25 million in gross revenue.
According to the Álvaro Merino National Mining Society, employment in the mining industry has fallen by 15% in the last 12 months, after the March-May quarter of 2020 reached 201,000 workers, a decline of 35,500 jobs compared to 2019. According to the manager of Studies of the Álvaro Merino National Mining Society, this is "due to the impact of the pandemic."
In week 23-24, Chile has exported 95,045 tons of kiwifruit, reflecting a 12% year on year drop, in volume, reported by Simfruit. Carlos Cruzat, President of the Kiwi Committee said, “There is a lower volume due to the effect of the summer heat, which led to lower production due to a reduction in sizes, as well as a clearing of hectares. However, there shouldn’t be a big difference between this season and last year’s exports. According to our estimates, they will be 4-5% lower.”
E-commerce giant Mercado Libre is making headway in its fintech plans for Chile. Authorities, through the Financial Market Commission (CMF), recently approved its financial services arm, Mercado Pago, to continue with the revision process to acquire a special license. Should it acquire this official document, Mercado Pago can launch multiple new products in the country including credit cards and even allow its users to invest via its e-wallet.