Antofagasta unveils production results for fourth quarter

Mining company Antofagasta on Wednesday posted strong production results for the fourth quarter of last year.

Mining company Antofagasta on Wednesday posted strong production results for the fourth quarter of last year.

The FTSE 100 organisation said group copper output increased 7.8% to 193,800 tonnes quarter-on-quarter, driven by production at Los Pelambres and Esperanza.

Los Pelambres produced 107,700 tonnes of payable copper during the quarter, compared with 98,800 tonnes in the previous quarter. Molybdenum production at the mine was 12,200 tonnes in 2012 compared with 9,900 tonnes in 2011.

Esperanza put out 49,400 tonnes of payable copper in the fourth quarter compared with 45,600 tonnes in quarter before.

The company's gold production was at 299,900 ounces in 2012 compared with 196,800 ounces in the 2011 full year, reflecting higher throughput at Esperanza.

Group cash costs during the fourth quarter were 113.5 cents per pound, up from 99.3 cents per pound in the comparative period. This was due in part to higher on-site and shipping costs at Esperanza which were in line with previously announced forecasts.

The Antucoya project was temporarily suspended to allow Minera Antucoya to conduct a full review given existing and potential levels of cost escalation.

"Group production in 2013 is expected to be approximately 700,000 tonnes of copper, 260,000 ounces of gold and 8,000 tonnes of molybdenum," the company said in a statement.

"Group cash costs in 2013 are expected to be approximately 140 cents per pound [net of by-product credits] and 185 cents per pound before by-product credits, reflecting higher on-site costs at Esperanza and Los Pelambres."

RD

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