Boliden to Close Finnish Smelter Due to Port Strike

STOCKHOLM, March 17 (Reuters) - Swedish miner and smelter Boliden (BOL.ST) said on Wednesday it would shut a copper smeltworks and refinery in Finland later this week as a strike by port workers was hitting concentrate supplies.
Boliden said a lack of copper concentrate would mean it would shut its Harjavalta smelter on March 18 and the copper refinery there the following day.

"Employees at Harjavalta will be temporarily laid-off beginning 25 March," the company said.

It added inventories of zinc and nickel concentrates were sufficient to keep production running at its Kokkola smelter through next week.

Boliden said there had only been a limited effect on customers so far from the industrial action.

Finnish stevedores went on strike on March 4 over a new wage deal.

The dispute threatens Finland's economic recovery as industries including forestry, electronics and metals have been hit.

The strike, estimated to cost the country 100 million euros ($138 million) a day, has left 60 percent of Finland's paper-making industry idle.