SANTIAGO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Chile maintained its outlook for global copper prices this year at an average of $3.15 per pound and expects them to ease to an average of around $3.00 per pound in 2015 due to a surplus of the red metal, state copper commission Cochilco said on Monday.
“The increased copper surplus (of approximately 416,000 metric tonnes) expected in 2015, 16 percent larger than this year, is due in large part to increased production at mining operations in Chile, Peru, Mexico and Zambia, among others,” said Mining Minister Hernan de Solminihac.
Chile, the world’s top copper producer, is forecast to produce 6 million tonnes of the industrial metal in 2014, Cochilco said.
The production forecast would amount to a 5.2 percent jump against the 5.77 million tonnes produced in 2013 and is based on expectations for increased output at state copper producer Codelco, and private-owned miners Collahuasi, Caserones, Sierra Gorda.
Collahuasi is owned by Anglo American Plc, Glencore Xstrata Plc and a group of Japanese companies led by Mitsui & Co ; Caserones is owned by JX Nippon Mining and Metals Corp and Mitsui & Co; and Sierra Gorda is owned by Poland’s KGHM and Japan’s Sumitomo.
Chile’s copper production is forecast to grow an additional 2.4 percent in 2015 to 6.2 million tonnes.