While BHP Billiton swung back into net profit in its latest earnings release and raised its interim dividend, the mining giant is still facing some uncertainties such as the outcome of the ongoing workers strike seen at its Escondida copper mine.
"I would rather we didn't have a strike," BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie told CNBC Tuesday.
"We have discussions, negotiations with unions all over the world. Our next phase of productivity and safety requires a greater flexibility from the workforce, a greater sense of empowering them, and them taking control to make themselves more productive."
According to Reuters, Chile's Escondida mine produced around 5 percent of the world's copper during the course of 2016. BHP Billiton has majority control of Escondida, the world's largest copper mine.
On February 9, 2017, it was announced that production at the Chilean-based mine had been suspended due to ongoing industrial action. In the company's latest earnings report, BHP Billiton said it didn't know when production would resume and couldn't quantify what the potential financial effect would be.
"We need an agreement that delivers that at Escondida – we need that all around the world if we're going to maintain this competitiveness, extend our track record on safety and productivity, pull in new technology in order to do that and change the culture," said Mackenzie.