Chile's copper output rises in August

Sept 30 Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:10am EDT

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, produced 492,883 tonnes of the red metal in August, a 7.6 percent increase from a year earlier, as production recovered at the Collahuasi mine and new projects came on line, the government said on Monday.

Chile, which produces a third of the world's copper, is struggling with dwindling ore grades in many of its aging deposits, although new mines have helped increase output in 2013.

Collahuasi, the world's No. 3 copper mine, was hit last year by problems that included lower ore grades and accidents.

Operations and production had improved at Collahausi, Glencore Xstrata, which owns a stake in the mine, said last week.

Compared with July 2013, copper production rose 2.6 percent, the national statistics agency said.

The metal makes up more than half of Chile's exports by value. Although the price of copper is on track to record its best quarter since March 2012 on steadying global growth, forecasts of a long-term price decline have reined in government spending.

Output of molybdenum, a metal used to harden steel, jumped 21.5 percent in August to 2,918 tonnes from a year earlier.