Chile-based copper miner Antofagasta produced 770,000mt of copper in 2019, up by 6.2pc from the previous year on higher output from three of its four mines.
Antofagasta, however, expects production to fall to 725,000-755,000mt in 2020, because of a decline in ore grades at its Centinela plant.
The company expects to reverse this decline through expansion at its Los Pelambres mine, when it reaches full production in 2022.
Copper production at Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres mine rose by 1.6pc to 363,400mt in 2019 from the previous year, due to higher copper grades and despite disruptions to mine supplies. It is expected to produce 350,000-360,000mt of copper in 2020. The Centinela mine produced 276,000mt of copper, up by 11.5pc from 2018 due to higher grades of Centinela concentrates, but partially offset by lower grades of Centinela cathodes. Copper concentrate output was 195,00mt, 25.7pc higher than in 2018, while cathode production was 81,000mt, down by 12.3pc.
Antofogasta’s Antucoya mine produced 71,900mt of copper, unchanged from the previous year due to lower- than-expected plant availability. It is expected to produce 80,000-85,000mt of copper in 2020. Higher grades also drove the Zaldívar mine production of copper up by 22.8pc over 2018, at 58,100mt. It is expected to produce 55060,000mt of copper in 2020.