Chile sees weaker copper output in May

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Copper production in Chile fell 1.7% year-on-year to 464,200t in May, state copper commission Cochilco said in its latest monthly report.

Compared sequentially, copper was up 10.4% from 420,400t in April. Output for the first five months of the year was down 9.7% to 2.07Mt.

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BHP's Escondida mine, which experienced a 43-day strike earlier this year, saw output for the first five months falling 46.1% to 241,900t.

State copper giant Codelco posted a 4.6% year-on-year drop in output to 710,000t in January-May. Production at its Chuquicamata-Radomiro Tomic-Ministro Hales complex fell 8.0% to 319,500t, while output at its smallest mine, Salvador, was down 6.9% to 22,900t, and El Teniente's dropped 7.4% to 178,400t.

Production at Codelco's Andina rose 23.7% to 95,400t in the five-month period, while its Gabriela Mistral division reported a 1.2% decline to 49,000t.

Collahuasi (pictured), a JV between Anglo American and Glencore, and Chile's second largest copper mine, reported a 4.4% increase to 207,000t in January-May, while production at Antofagasta Minerals' Los Pelambres fell 4.4% to 142,100t. Output at Lundin Mining's Candelaria was up 12.8% to 60,600t.

Anglo American Sur reported a 5.2% decline to 148,000t, while output at the Zaldívar mine, jointly controlled by Antofagasta and Barrick Gold, grew 1.6% to 43,900t.

El Abra, controlled by Freeport-McMoRan with a 51% stake and 49% owned by Codelco, saw production decline 31.5% to 31,100t. Output at BHP's Spence was up 29.5% to 84,700t, while production at its Cerro Colorado operation was down 21.2% to 29,300t.

Teck Resources' Quebrada Blanca saw output fall 25.7% to 10,700t in the first five months, while production at Glencore's Lomas Bayas mine rose 6.2% to 34,300t. Production at Mantos Copper's joint Mantoverde and Mantos Blancos mines was down 19.7% to 34,700t.



Chilean molybdenum production rose 25.8% year-on-year to 5,738t in May, Cochilco said in a separate report. Output for the first five months was up 10.5% to 25,768t.

Codelco's molybdenum output fell 8.9% to 11,573t in January-May, 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 3,729t, up 46.4% from January-May 2016. Collahuasi's molybdenum output fell 69.3% to 445t, while Anglo American Sur reported a 27.9% drop to 850t.

Combined production at the Lumina Copper, Sierra Gorda and Valle Central operations was 9,171t in January-May, up 10.5%.



Chilean gold production fell 13.8% year-on-year to 2,894kg (93,044oz) in May, while silver output was 31.6% lower at 97,076kg, the state agency said separately.

Gold output for the first five months was down 17.8% to 14,182kg, while silver production fell 26.0% to 484,696kg.