Octavio Araneda, Codelco’s chief executive officer, said that the group’s copper production was maintained in H1 2020 despite the COVID-19 related restrictions that are likely to continue at its mines through the rest of the year.
However, uncertainties related to the pandemic continue to be a major factor that could impact the company’s output, according to reports citing Araneda’s conversation with the media on a tour of the company’s El Teniente mine in Cachapoal, Chile on August 13.
Araneda predicted that copper prices will hover around $2.80/lb through the rest of the year if the current global recovery pace continues. The forecast gains significance given that Chile is the largest copper producing nation in the world and Codelco is the country’s biggest state-led miner.
Araneda also indicated that the COVID-19 situation is improving, with a significant decline of positive cases at the company’s mines. The country’s data backs this claim, as the number of daily positive COVID-19 cases has dropped to about 2,000 cases from a peak of 7,500 in June.
Codelco has maintained its output in the first half, despite the widespread impact of the pandemic. It produced 744,000mt of copper, up 4.7pc from H1 2019.