Antofagasta Copper Production Rises 9.4%

Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) on Wednesday reaffirmed its 2017 production outlook as it reported a 9.4% increase in first quarter copper production compared with the year before.

The Chilean miner said that at the end of March, copper production had risen to 171,900 metric tons from 157,100 metric tons with higher production at Centinela, and Antucoya now operating at full production. However, production dropped 16.4% from the fourth quarter due to expected lower grades at Los Pelambres and Centinela Concentrates.

"We have started the year with a continued focus on cost efficiency and productivity improvements. Production is in line with our expectations and is some 9% higher than in the same quarter of last year. When compared with the last quarter of 2016 the lower production reflects the expected grade decline at Los Pelambres and Centinela," Chief Executive Ivan Arriagada said.

Cash costs before by-product credits were 8% lower compared with the same quarter last year as the company continues to progress its cost improvement measures, Mr. Arriagada said.

"We reassert our guidance for the year of 685,000-720,000 tons of copper at a cash cost before by-product credits of $1.55 per pound-mass and a net cash cost of $1.30 per pound-mass," the CEO said.

-Write to Razak Musah Baba at; Twitter: @Raztweet

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 26, 2017 02:39 ET (06:39 GMT)