Workers at the Chuquicamata copper mine, one of the divisions of Chile's Corporacion del Cobre, or Codelco, have returned to work after staging a 17-day strike aimed at improving pay and working conditions.

The copper miners returned to the job on Saturday after pay scales were improved and the company agreed to hire more workers in different areas.

Union leaders presented workers with Codelco's latest offer late Friday, Radio Bio Bio reported.

The deal was approved on a vote of 287-140 even though more than 800 miners had gone on strike, the radio station said.

Management took emergency measures earlier this month to keep the mine operating after workers walked off the job.

More than 20,000 tons of copper concentrate were not smelted as a result of the strike, which did not affect other operations at Chuquicamata, the world's biggest open-pit copper mine by volume.

Codelco, which has eight divisions, has generated income of more than $107 billion for the Treasury since its founding 42 years ago, creating nearly 1 million direct jobs. EFE