(Adds CEO comments, projections for market)
By Fabian Cambero
Aug 31 (Reuters) - Copper production at Codelco, Chile’s state-owned copper mining company, rose 2 percent in the first half of 2018 to 813,000 tonnes, Chief Executive Nelson Pizarro said on Friday.
The world´s top copper miner benefited from rising prices, posting a pretax profit of $1.235 billion in the same period, up 25 percent year-on-year, with a production cost per pound of copper of $1.38, an increase of 4 percent year-on-year, Pizarro said.
Total production of copper including from red metal mined in its other holdings totalled 875,000 tonnes.
“Without a doubt the result was influenced by the copper price and better management,” he told journalists in Santiago.
The company expects to produce around 1.7 million tonnes of copper in the whole of 2018, he added, and will invest $39 billion over the next 10 years to extend the shelf life of its aging facilities.
Pizarro said he was confident global demand for copper would remain robust despite short-term volatility caused by the U.S.-China trade war. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero Writing by Aislinn Laing Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)