(Bloomberg) -- BHP Group reached a preliminary wage agreement with union leaders in Chile, signaling the company will avert a costly strike at a copper mine that accounts for about 1% of global supply of the wiring metal.

More than 1,100 members of the main union at BHP’s Spence mine in northern Chile will vote on the new offer in the coming days, the Melbourne-based firm said in a statement early Wednesday. 

The breakthrough came on the final day of mediated talks, with both sides agreeing to an extension in order to seek approval by members. The outcome of the vote will be known Friday afternoon, said union boss Ronald Salcedo. 

Averting a strike at Spence, which last year churned out about 250,000 metric tons, would ease tensions in a busy schedule of collective bargaining in Chilean copper mining. While high prices embolden workers, firms are looking to avoid costly stoppages without big increases in fixed costs in a cyclical and capital-intensive business.

An accord at Spence may also allay concerns over upcoming labor talks at BHP’s other Chilean operation, Escondida, which is more than four times the size of Spence and has been the scene of lengthy strikes in the past.

(Adds union comment on vote in third paragraph)

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