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Antofagasta retains full-year guidance due to first-quarter production

Wed, 21st Apr 2021 09:23

(Alliance News) - Antofagasta PLC on Wednesday said its full-year expectations are unchanged as its first quarter production and cost performance was in line with guidance.

The Chilean copper miner said copper production in the first quarter was 183,000 tonnes, 5.7% lower than in the same quarter in 2020 and 5.0% lower than in the fourth quarter. It said this was mainly due to expected reduced grades at the Los Pelambres mine.

Antofagasta's gold production was 59,100 ounces in the first quarter, 9.2% lower than in the same period in 2020 and 8.0% higher than in the fourth quarter. This was mainly due to changes in grade at the Centinela mine, it said.

"Labour negotiations were successfully concluded at Los Pelambres and no further negotiations are scheduled at our mining operations until next year. The copper market continues to perform strongly, and we expect this to continue as structural supply and demand dynamics support a tight physical market," said Chief Executive Ivan Arriagada.

Looking ahead, Antofagasta said its full-year guidance is unchanged at 730,000 tonnes to 760,000 tonnes of copper, at a net cash cost of USD1.25 per pound and capital expenditure of USD1.6 billion. Production in the second half of the year is expected to "slightly stronger" than in the first half.

Due to a wave of Covid-19 cases and the nationwide lockdown imposed in late March by the Chilean government, major maintenance at Los Pelambres originally planned for second quarter is under review. As the maintenance requires a large number of additional workers on-site, Antofagasta said it is looking to reschedule some of the non-critical activities to later in 2021.

Shares in Antofagasta were up 0.2% at 1,844.50 pence in London on Wednesday.

By Zoe Wickens; zoewickens@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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