Precious metals production dips at Antofagasta

Caitlin Morrison
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SHARES in Chile-based miner Antofagasta fell by 2.9 per cent yesterday after the company published its production update for the final quarter of 2014.

Copper production in the fourth quarter was up 10.8 per cent compared with the third quarter. However, for the full year, copper production fell by 2.3 per cent from the result in 2013.

Similarly, gold production increased by 27.2 per cent between the third and fourth quarters of 2014, but fell for the year as a whole.

The company said that its copper, gold and molybdenum production and cash costs all beat guidance for the year. It also confirmed that it had completed the acquisition of Duluth Metals and consolidated ownership of the Twin Metals Minnesota project in January.

Diego Hernandez, Antofagasta’s chief executive, said: “I’m pleased to announce yet another year where we have achieved our production and net cash cost guidance. We continue to focus on controlling our cost base in 2015 while growing our production. We look forward to inaugurating Chile’s only new copper mine in 2015, Antucoya, and remain optimistic about the copper market in the medium to long term.”

The company said it expects cash costs to go up slightly in 2014, and analysts at S&P Capital IQ said that this hike in costs will hit the firm’s profits “given the weaker copper price environment”.

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