Chilean copper miner Antofagasta saw its copper production fall by 5.7pc in Q1 2021 to 183,000mt, compared to the same period last year. However, it has retained the annual guidance of 730,000-760,000mt.
The company attributed the lower volumes to declining grade recovery at its Los Pelambres mine. It also noted that cash costs increased by 17¢/lb in Q1 compared to a year ago due to renegotiated labor terms.
Antofagasta noted that due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile, there has been a lockdown in place since late March, and the company may review its Q2 major maintenance plans for Los Pelambres, including dealing with the water shortage.
Production in H2 2021 is expected to be stronger than expected to make up for lost time due to the current situation, especially with the strong copper market wherein supply remains tight.