Antofagasta Quarterly Copper Output Falls 7.8% on Maintenance

Antofagasta Plc, the copper producer controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, said first-quarter output fell 7.8 percent because of maintenance work at its Los Pelambres and Esperanza mines.

Copper output was 169,400 metric tons, the company said today in a statement. It produced 183,800 tons in the same period a year earlier.

Antofagasta seeks to increase its annual output to 900,000 tons by 2018 after developing the 85,000-ton Antucoya project and adding 90,000 tons by expanding Los Pelambres, its largest mine. It also seeks to expand the Esperanza mine by 10,000 tons to 12,000 tons a year. London-based Antofagasta is targeting output of 700,000 tons this year after 721,200 tons in 2013.

Production at Los Pelambres dropped 5.4 percent to 95,700 tons from a year earlier and Esperanza output fell 18 percent to 39,200 tons of copper, Antofagasta said.

The company’s cash costs, including contributions from byproducts such as molybdenum, climbed 26 percent to $1.46 a pound, it said. Output of molybdenum, used to harden steel, declined 35 percent to 1.7 million tons from a year earlier.

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