LONDON Aug 1 Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc
posted an increase in second quarter copper output,
setting it on track to hit its full-year target, as the cost of
producing a pound of red metal dipped, thanks to improvements at
trouble-hit mine Esperanza.
Antofagasta, which recently appointed copper heavyweight
Diego Hernandez as its chief executive, said production rose 6.3
percent in the quarter compared with the previous three months
to 173,200 tonnes. It expects to hit a full-year production
target of 700,000 tonnes.
Gold production was 72,600 ounces in the quarter, again
above the previous quarter as Esperanza got back on track, and
almost 50 percent above the year ago, when the new mine was
Esperanza, which was hit by operational trouble in the first
months of the year, was back on track with 37,700 tonnes of
copper, almost 24 percent above the previous three months, as
throughput increased, along with ore grade and recoveries, the
Group cash costs, net of by-product credits, came in at 99.3
cents per pound, marginally above the previous quarter. Over the
first half, though, costs were down, as increased gold
production at Esperanza and molybdenum at Los Pelambres meant
more by-product credits.