LONDON May 16 Chilean copper miner Antofagasta
posted a 29 percent drop in first-quarter core profit
on Thursday, as lower prices for its red metal and slightly
higher operating costs offset increased production.
Antofagasta said the realised price for its copper in the
quarter dropped to 341.1 cents per pound from 429.6 cents per
pound in the first quarter of 2012. On the London Metal
Exchange, copper averaged 359.8 cents per pound during the first
quarter of this year, compared with 376.9 cents a year ago.
The miner said core profit, or earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), fell to just under
$782 million compared with $1.1 billion a year ago. Revenues
dropped almost 15 percent to $1.5 billion.
Earlier this month, Antofagasta reported a 13 percent rise
in first quarter copper production.