Antofagasta hits full-year production target, beats on costs

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Wednesday 19 Jan 2022

Antofagasta hits full-year production target, beats on costs

(Sharecast News) - Antofagasta hit its full-year production targets and beat that for costs, while reiterating guidance for a decline in copper output over the year ahead due to the ongoing drought in Chile.
Nevertheless, the miner's boss, Ivan Arriagada, emphasised that the outfit's desaliation plant was expected to come onstream in the back half of 2022 and solve the dearth of water at ots Los Pelambres mine.

Arriagada also called attention to the multiple favourable long-term trends that were in place for demand.

"In the meantime, the demand picture for copper continues to be strong as copper is essential to economic activity and green investment initiatives such as electric vehicles, infrastructure and renewable energy," he said.

The group's copper output hit 178,900 ounces during the quarter and 721,500 ounces for the year while full-year gold production reached 252,200 ounces.

Full-year copper production was within guidance.

For 2022, the group reiterated that copper production was expected to hit 660-690,000 tonnes, that of gold between 170-190,000 ounces and that of molybdenum 8,500-10000 tonnes.

Forecasts for lower expected grades at Centinela Concentrates and a temporary reduction of throughput at Los Pelambres due to the drought were responsible for the anticipated drop in output of copper and gold.

Copper production was expected to increase during each quarter of 2022.

Capital expenditures for the year ahead were seen at $1.7-1.9bn, although the final estimated outlays for completing the expansion at Los Pelambres was under review mainly as a result of Covid-19.

Net cash costs for all of 2021 came in below expectations at $1.20/lb., but were up 5.3% on 2020.

For the last three months of 2021, net cash costs rose to $1.35/lb..

Group cash costs for 2022 before and after by-product credits were pegged at $2.0/lb. and $1.55/lb., respectively, reflecting increased input costs and lower output at its lowest cost operations, Los Pelambres and Centinela Concentrates.


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