Chile says returns $1 bln in profit to miner Codelco

SANTIAGO, July 2 Tue Jul 2, 2013 6:27pm EDT

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SANTIAGO, July 2 (Reuters) - Chile's government said on Tuesday afternoon it will return $1 billion of 2012 profits to state copper company Codelco to help the miner meet financing needs.

World's No. 1 copper producer Codelco has an ambitious plan to increase annual copper production to over 2 million tonnes from its current level of around 1.7 million tonnes.

The $1 billion is likely to make it easier for Codelco to tap capital markets without risking its investment grade.

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