Low precipitation in Chile forced Antofagasta to revise their copper production guidance for 2021 downwards to 710,000-740,000mt from 730,000-760,000mt projected in late July.
In its semi-annual report, the London-based miner explained that a forecast shortage of rain could extend until late June next year, which would affect the operation of the concentrator plant at its Los Pelambres mine. In its Director’s Report, Antofagasta, however, noted that precipitation levels this year were significantly lower than 2019, which was the driest year in the 12-year drought being experienced in Chile. Still, the company plans to mitigate this challenge by H2 2022 when its desalination plant becomes operational.
In H1 2021, Antofagasta’s copper sales decreased by 6.3pc to 325,100mt from 346,800mt in the same period last year. Meanwhile, molybdenum sales grew by 20pc to 5,700mt from 4,700mt during the same period.
Group revenues grew by 67.9pc in H1 2021 to $3.6bn from $2.1bn between January and June 2020 on higher demand and prices for copper. EBITDA reported in the first half of the year jumped by 132.7pc, to $2.4bn from $1.01bn in the first six months of last year.