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Jan. 23, 2019, 2:31 a.m. EST

Antofagasta expects record output for copper, gold

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By Oliver Griffin

Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) on Wednesday said it expects 2019 will be a record year for the company, after having met the top ends of its guidance ranges for copper and gold production in 2018.

The Chile-based mining company said it produced 725,300 metric tons of copper in 2018, up from 704,300 tons in 2017. Gold production for the year declined 1.1% to 210,100 ounces, the company said.

On a quarterly basis, gold production soared 87% to 90,000 ounces in the fourth quarter from 48,100 ounces in the third, due to higher throughput, grades and recoveries at the Centinela mine.

Fourth-quarter copper production rose 17% to 220,000 tons from 188,300 tons in the third quarter, Antofagasta said.

Antofagasta's production of strategic metal molybdenum, which is often used to make metal alloys, rose 30% on year to 13,600 tons. On a quarterly basis, molybdenum production fell 25% to 3,300 tons, the company said.

The miner said it expects 2019 will be a record year and forecast copper output in a range of 750,000-790,000 tons, with gold expected at between 240,000-260,000 ounces. Molybdenum production is expected in a range of 11,500-12,500 tons, the company said.

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