Chile's Codelco first semester earnings tumble 33 percent on lower prices for copper

Associated Press

Chile's state-run copper giant Codelco says its profit plunged more than 30 percent in the first half of 2015 from the previous year because of tumbling prices for the metal.

The world's largest copper company said Friday it earned $875 million in the first semester compared to $1.3 billion in the same period a year ago.

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Codelco's production rose by 5.5 percent in the first semester to 910,000 metric tons.

The company has been hard hit by lower prices and demand for copper after an economic slowdown in China and labor strikes.

Codelco has embarked in major investments to deal with falling ore grades. They include digging new deposits and turning the world's largest open-pit mine into an underground operation.