Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Chilean copper miner Codelco’s executive president said that while higher copper prices have boosted the company’s earnings, the market remains volatile, calling it a “supercycle”. The company will focus on production growth and operational sustainability. 


The miner said that the El Teniente expansion project could take 12 months longer due to COVID-19 related restrictions. The pandemic has also impacted ramping up production at Chuquicamata’s mining rate to 140,000mt per day. Net sales amounted to near $4mn, up from $1.8mn in Q1 2020.


In Q1 2021, the state-backed group produced 386,000mt of fine copper, up by 6.4pc or 25,000mt from the prior-year period. The company attributed the growth to better grade recovery and continuous operations despite health constraints. 


Codelco noted that despite a lower cost of production, conversion costs for copper cathodes (C3) increased by 21pc to $2.216/lb from $1.829/lb due to fluctuations in the US Dollar rates. 


For the first quarter of 2021, the miner’s EBITDA tripled to $2.37mn compared with the prior-year period while its net profit rose to $1.62mn, up 2.9pc from Q1 2020. 

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