Chile's copper output dwindles in June

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Copper production in Chile fell 5.8% year-on-year to 441,700t in June, state copper commission Cochilco said in its latest monthly report.

Compared sequentially, copper was down 4.8% from the 464,100t seen in May and output for the first half of the year was down 9.0% to 2.52Mt.

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BHP's Escondida mine, which experienced a 43-day strike earlier this year, saw output for the first six months fall 40.0% to 323,900t.

State copper giant Codelco posted a 6.0% year-on-year drop in output to 851,000t in January-June. Production at its Chuquicamata-Radomiro Tomic-Ministro Hales complex dipped 11.3% to 380,400t, while output at its smallest mine, Salvador, was down 7.3% to 26,600t, and El Teniente's output dropped 6.1% to 219,100t.

Production at Codelco's Andina rose 20.8% to 112,100t in the six-month period, while its Gabriela Mistral division (pictured) reported 1.4% growth to 59,700t.

Collahuasi, a JV between Anglo American and Glencore, and Chile's second largest copper mine, reported a 1.3% increase in output to 246,900t in January-June, while production at Antofagasta Minerals' Los Pelambres fell 4.4% to 170,200t. Output at Lundin Mining's Candelaria was up 20.6% to 76,000t.

Anglo American Sur reported a 4.7% decline to 174,700t, while output at the Zaldívar mine, jointly controlled by Antofagasta and Barrick Gold, fell 0.2% to 51,900t.

El Abra, controlled by Freeport-McMoRan with a 51% stake and 49% owned by Codelco, saw production decline 30.7% to 37,200t. Output at BHP's Spence was up 27.4% to 102,900t, while production at its Cerro Colorado operation was down 20.8% to 35,500t.

Teck Resources' Quebrada Blanca saw output slip 28.5% to 12,300t in the first half, while production at Glencore's Lomas Bayas mine climbed 4.3% to 41,000t. Production at Mantos Copper's joint Mantoverde and Mantos Blancos mines was down 18.7% to 41,800t.



Chilean molybdenum production was up 18.3% year-on-year to 5,749t in June, Cochilco said in a separate report. Output for the first six months climbed 11.8% to 31,517t.

Codelco's molybdenum output fell 10.5% to 13,711t in January-June, mainly because of declines at its Chuquicamata, Radomiro Tomic and El Teniente mines, which offset increases at the Salvador and Andina mines.

Los Pelambres produced 4,540t, up 38.4% from January-June 2016. Collahuasi's molybdenum output fell 69.0% to 642t, while Anglo American Sur reported a 24.4% drop to 1,003t.

Combined production at the Lumina Copper, Sierra Gorda and Valle Central operations was 11,621t in January-June, up 11.8%.



Chilean gold production decreased 17.3% year-on-year to 3,132kg (100,696oz) in June, while silver output was 21.2% lower at 104,236kg, the state agency said separately.

Gold output for the first six months was down 17.7% to 17,309kg, while silver production fell 25.2% to 588,804kg.