SANTIAGO Nov 13 World No. 1 copper producer
Codelco's 2013 output of the red metal will top this year's
forecast of about 1.7 million tonnes as the new Ministro Hales
mine comes on line, CEO Thomas Keller said on Tuesday.
State miner Codelco output is expected to dip
slightly this year, hurt by dwindling ore grades in its ageing
deposits, before ambitious expansion plans hike production
towards the end of the decade.
Copper prices will remain close to current levels in
the short term, Keller told reporters on the sidelines of a
mining conference. The copper market's fundamentals are tight,
Keller said he is optimistic over labor negotiations at
Codelco's massive Chuquicamata deposit.