Codelco, Chile’s state-owned copper producer, produced 361,000mt of copper at its Codelco divisions in the Jan-March quarter, up by 5.7pc from the prior-year period. Codelco’s total copper output was 387,000mt, up by 4.2pc.
Output increased due to operational continuity and a greater treatment of the plants, according to the world’s largest copper producer. Codelco’s increased output pushed Chile’s copper output in the first quarter up by 4.3pc to 1.4mn mt in the period. The country’s output, however, is expected to drop by 200,000mt in 2020 on the back of COVID-19 pandemic.
The copper producer’s profits, however, dropped by 85pc to $54mn in the first quarter, from $372mn. The fall in profit was caused by lower amounts of surplus copper along with a sharp drop in the price of LME copper (10pc drop) caused by the virus outbreak. Higher amortization of mining development, which was offset by better management and operational continuity also contributed to the drop in profits, according to Codelco.