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Antofagasta Falls Most in 16 Months as Mining Costs Jump

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Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Antofagasta Plc, the copper company controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, fell the most in 16 months in London trading after forecasting increased costs this year.

Antofagasta slid 8.3 percent to 1,169 pence by the close, the biggest drop since Sept. 22, 2011. The company said in a statement today the cost of it mining a pound of copper would increase 14 percent to 185 cents in 2013.

Costs are “significantly higher than what consensus was expecting,” Liberum Capital Ltd. said in a note to investors.

The industry has been beset by surging costs for energy, labor and construction materials. Antofagasta said rising energy prices would add to costs at its Los Pelambres mine, along with “increased mine movement” at the company’s Esperanza site.

Antofagasta will produce 700,000 metric tons of copper and 260,000 ounces of gold this year, compared with 709,600 tons and 299,900 ounces, respectively, in 2012.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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