MINING: The week in 10 stories

Friday, April 28, 2017

We're in the middle of results season, with major mining companies in the region releasing their reports for the first quarter of the year.

Anglo American reported a 30% year-on-year increase in iron ore output from its Minas-Rio complex in Brazil, while copper output from its Chilean operations was down 2.7%.

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Barrick Gold saw first quarter profits climb to US$162mn, thanks to higher yellow metal prices. The company, however, slashed its production guidance for the year to 5.3-5.6Moz from 5.6-5.9Moz on account of the sale of half of its Veladero mine (pictured) in Argentina to Shandong Gold.

Another company that cut production guidance was BHP Billiton, which suffered at 44-day strike at its Escondida mine in Chile. The multinational cut its copper production guidance to a range of 1.33-1.36Mt from 1.62Mt previously.

US-based Freeport McMoRan posted net income of US$228mn compared with a whopping US$4.18bn loss a year earlier.

In Mexico, Fresnillo saw silver output increase 10.7% thanks to a strong performance of its San Julián mine. Meanwhile, in Chile, Antofagasta saw copper output increase 9.4% thanks to the contribution of its newest mine, Antucoya.

Goldcorp, meanwhile, more than doubled its profit to US$170mn from US$80mn a year earlier. CEO David Garofalo said the company plans to expand its efficiency plans.

Brazilian iron ore giant Vale posted net income of US$2.49bn from US$1.78bn a year earlier.

The company said it also expects operations at its suspended Samarco JV with BHP Billiton to resume during the second half of the year.

Finally, Southern Copper resumed operations at its Cuajone and Toquepala mines and Ilo smelter, after reaching an agreement with its workers. Operations had been halted since April 10.