Chile's Collahuasi says mineral resources up 19 pct in 2012

SANTIAGO Wed Feb 6, 2013 12:11pm EST

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SANTIAGO Feb 6 (Reuters) - World No.3 copper mine Collahuasi said on Wednesday its mineral resources grew by 19 percent to 9 billion tonnes last year compared with 2011 levels, due in part to new drilling campaigns and improvements in mining design.

Average ore grades are 0.81 percent copper, Collahuasi said in a statement, an enviable level as grades slip in many of leading copper producer Chile's ancient, tired deposits.

Chile's Collahuasi is seeking to turn the corner after a tough 2012. The deposit produced around 282,100 tonnes of red metal last year, tumbling roughly 37.8 percent from 2011 levels, according to state copper commission Cochilco.

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