VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – London-listed base metals producer Antofagasta managed to tighten the noose on costs during the second quarter ended June 30, with net cash costs at $1.20/lb of copper, a 5.5% decrease compared with the previous quarter.
Companywide copper output during the period was 174 400 t, 1.5% higher than the preceding period, while gold output during the quarter rose 10.5% to 58 900 oz.
Production and costs remain in line with expectations and guidance for the year is unchanged. The company expects to produce between 685 000 t and 720 000 t of copper during 2017.
Antofagasta said its cash costs before by-product credits are expected to be $1.55/lb with net cash costs calculated at $1.30/lb of copper.
“Our copper production performance during the year so far has been stronger than in the same period last year, especially at Centinela and Antucoya, which is now operating at full capacity,” stated Antofagasta CEO Iván Arriagada.
All the group's operations are in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile, except for its flagship operation Los Pelambres, which is in the Coquimbo region of Central Chile.
Meanwhile, molybdenum production at Los Pelambres increased in the quarter to 2 400 t and, for the year to date, was 36.4% higher than in the same period last year, mainly owing to higher molybdenum grades, the company advised.