Codelco 1st-Quarter Copper Output Rises 5.7% From Year Ago

Codelco, the world’s largest copper company, reported a 5.7 percent increase in first-quarter production as output from its Radomiro Tomic mine helped offset a drop at Chuquicamata in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Copper output climbed to 425,000 metric tons in the first three months of the year from 402,000 tons a year earlier, according to a statement posted in the state-owned company’s website. Excluding its share of production from its stake in the El Abra mine, output rose to 414,000 tons from 383,000 tons.

Santiago-based Codelco is spending $17.5 billion over five years to revamp its aging mines where production has fallen five times in six years.

The company “should be close” to its 2011 production target of 1.75 million tons, Chief Executive Officer Diego Hernandez said April 4.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Craze in Santiago at mcraze@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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