By Jaime Llinares Taboada
Antofagasta PLC said Wednesday that its copper production for the fourth quarter increased from the third quarter, in line with expectations, and unitary costs came in below guidance.
The Chile-based miner achieved copper output of 192,600 metric tons in the three months ended Dec. 31, up 14% from 169,600 tons in the third quarter.
Full-year production was 733,900 tons, down 4.7% from 2019 due to lower copper grades at the Centinela mine. The company had forecast full-year production would be at the lower end of the 725,000-755,000 tons range.
Net cash costs for October-December declined 4.2% on the quarter to $1.14 per pound, and also averaged $1.14 over the whole year. Antofagasta in October forecast 2020 net cash costs would be below $1.20 per pound assuming no material changes to the exchange rate.
For 2021, Antofagasta said it expects cash costs after by-product credits of $1.25 per pound, and capital expenditure of $1.6 billion. Copper production had already been forecast at 730,000-760,000 tons.
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