Chilean copper sees double-digit output growth in October

Monday, December 11, 2017

Copper production in Chile rose 15.1% year-on-year to 510,400t in October, the highest monthly rate since December last year, state copper commission Cochilco said in its latest monthly report.

Compared sequentially, copper was 7.1% higher from the 476,500t seen in October. Output for the first 10 months of the year was down 2.1% to 4.47Mt.

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BHP's Escondida mine, which experienced a 44-day strike earlier this year, saw output for the first 10 months fall 13.2% to 712,300t.

State copper giant Codelco posted a 1.6% year-on-year drop in output to 1.50Mt in January-October. Production at its Chuquicamata-Radomiro Tomic-Ministro Hales complex dipped 4.4% to 686,100t, while output at its smallest mine, Salvador, was up 3.1% to 50,000t, and El Teniente's output dropped 1.9% to 386,800t.

Production at Codelco's Andina rose 15.4% to 182,500t in the 10-month period, while its Gabriela Mistral division reported 0.8% growth to 102,600t.

Collahuasi, a JV between Anglo American and Glencore and Chile's second-largest copper mine, reported a 1.2% growth in output to 427,600t in January-October. Production at Antofagasta Minerals' Los Pelambres fell 3.6% to 291,300t. Output at Lundin Mining's Candelaria was up 22.7% to 128,100t.

Anglo American Sur reported a 2.4% decline to 289,600t, while output at the Zaldívar mine - jointly controlled by Antofagasta and Barrick Gold - rose 2.2% to 86,700t.

El Abra (pictured), controlled by Freeport-McMoRan with a 51% stake and 49% owned by Codelco, saw production decline 24.2% to 64,500t. Output at BHP's Spence was up 20.5% to 162,300t, while production at its Cerro Colorado operation was down 18.3% to 53,900t.

Teck Resources' Quebrada Blanca saw output slip 33.8% to 19,200t in the first 10 months, while production at Glencore's Lomas Bayas mine climbed 1.4% to 67,000t.



Chilean molybdenum production was up 2.1% year-on-year to 5,284t in October, Cochilco said in a separate report. Output for the first 10 months climbed 10.7% to 51,996t.

Codelco's molybdenum output fell 6.9% to 23,969t in January-October, mainly because of declines at its Chuquicamata, Radomiro Tomic, Salvador and El Teniente mines, which offset an increase at the Andina mine.

Los Pelambres produced 8,195t, up 38.7% from January-October2016. Collahuasi's molybdenum output fell 32.5% to 2,268t, while Anglo American Sur reported a 13.5% drop to 1,796t.

Combined production at the Lumina Copper, Sierra Gorda and Valle Central operations was 15,768t in January-October, up 59.5%.



Chilean gold production decreased 21.6% year-on-year to 2,866kg (92,144oz) in October, while silver output was 21.0% lower at 103,029kg, the state agency said separately.

Gold output for the first 10 months was down 14.7% to 29,923kg, while silver production fell 19.1% to 1.02Mkg.