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Antofagasta hails record FY copper production

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 22 Jan 2020

Antofagasta hails record FY copper production

(Sharecast News) - Chilean copper miner Antofagasta hailed record full-year copper production on Wednesday despite a dip in the fourth quarter.
The company said copper production for 2019 came to 770,000 tonnes, up 6.2% on the previous year and at the top end of revised guidance. In the fourth quarter, copper production declined 5.8% from the previous quarter to 185,000 tonnes due to planned lower grades and maintenance at Centinela Concentrates, disruption of fuel deliveries to the Los Pelambres mine due to social unrest in Chile and the strike at Antucoya.

Gold production in the fourth quarter fell to 55,600 ounces, down from the third quarter with lower grades at Centinela. For the year, however, production was up 34.4% at 282,300 ounces, coming in above guidance.

Molybdenum production was 2,300 tonnes during the quarter and 11,600 tonnes for the full year, 14.7% lower than in the previous year on expected lower grades at Los Pelambres and unchanged production at Centinela.

Net cash costs for the year declined 5.4% to $1.22/lb due to lower cash costs before by-product credits.

For 2020, the miner expects to report copper production of between 725,000 and 755,000 tonnes, 180,000 to 200,000 ounces of gold and 12,500 to 14,000 tonnes of molybdenum.

Chief executive officer Ivan Arriagada said: "2019 was a good year operationally for Antofagasta.

"Following the civil unrest in Chile last year and the disruption of supplies at Los Pelambres, all of our mining operations have been operating in line with their respective plans, although the transport division has had some interruptions due to occasional road blockages in the city of Antofagasta."

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