Antofagasta remains on target though costs inch up

Chilean copper colossus Antofagasta saw production rise 12.8 per cent year-on-year, but fall 5.2 per cent on the preceding quarter due to plant maintenance.

Chilean copper colossus Antofagasta saw production rise 12.8 per cent year-on-year, but fall 5.2 per cent on the preceding quarter due to plant maintenance.

Although cash costs rose slightly, group copper production hit 183,800 tonnes in the first quarter of 2013 and management assured that the group remained on course to hit production forecasts for the 2013 full year.

The 12.8% copper production increase compared to the equivalent period in 2012 was principally due to higher plant throughput at the Esperanza nine, with a 5.2% decrease compared with the final quarter of 2012 was attributed chiefly to scheduled plant maintenance at Los Pelambres.

Gold and molybdenum production were both marginally below the preceding quarter, as expected.

Group cash costs increased 1.8% to 115.5c per pound compared the previous quarter as Los Pelambres suffered inflated energy and shipping costs that were only partially offset by lower cash costs at Esperanza.

The Esperanza plant was still undergoing modifications to bring it up to its design capacity of 97,000 tons a day, the company added.

Antofagasta said it expected to report a negative provisional copper pricing adjustment of $78.9m for the first quarter, while the provisional pricing adjustment for molybdenum sales was a negative $4.8m and $4.1m for gold sales.

The shares rose 2.84% to 923p by 08:20 on Wednesday.

OH

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