SANTIAGO – Chile's copper production increased 18.9% in the first quarter of 2018 from the same period a year earlier, Chilean copper commission Cochilco said on Tuesday.
Production this year was boosted by a low basis for comparison following an historic strike last year at BHP's Escondida copper mine, the world's largest. Escondida tripled its production in the first quarter of 2018 to 322 700 t, Cochilco said.
Between January and March, Chile, the world's top copper producer and exporter, produced 1.42-million tonnes of the red metal, Cochilco said.
In March, the South American country's copper production increased 30.8% year-on-year to 487 900 t.
State miner Codelco produced 446 300 t of copper in the first quarter, according to Cochilco's statistics, which marked a 7.2% increase over the previous year.
The Collahuasi copper mine in northern Chile, owned by Anglo American and Glencore Plc increased production by 5% in the first quarter to 137 600 t, Cochilco said.