Antofagasta Sees China’s ‘Huge’ Metals Demand Continuing

Antofagasta Plc (ANTO), the operator of four copper mines in Chile, expects to benefit from “huge demand” for metals as China and other emerging economies develop, said Chief Executive Officer Jean Paul Luksic.

"There’s a tremendous demand push by the industrialization and urbanization of China,’’ Luksic, whose billionaire family controls Antofagasta, said today in an interview in London. “You see huge demand for all these metals.”

The company will continue to invest in new mines in Chile and overseas to meet demand from the so-called BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, Luksic said. Mine projects will “take time” to meet rising demand, he said.

Antofagasta, which is developing new mines in Pakistan and Zambia, has fallen 19 percent this year in London trading as investors sold producers of commodities on concern the European debt crisis will slow global economic growth.

To contact the reporters on this story: Matthew Craze at mcraze@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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