ANTOFAGASTA yesterday revealed a 48.6 per cent slump in profits during the first half of year as it published its interim results. Profits at the Chile-focused miner, which in co-operation with Barrick Gold acquired a 50 per cent take in the Zaldivar copper mine in the country this year, stood at $561.6m. Revenue was down more than 30 per cent compared with the first half of the previous year at around $1.79bn. Dividend payouts were slashed to 3.1 cents per share, down from 11.7 cents the previous year. The firm said the decline in the copper price, protests and bad weather had affected performance. Antofagasta boss Diego Hernandez said: “With our robust balance sheet and cash generative operations we are well positioned for the current low point in the copper price cycle. Shares finished up by 8.7 per cent, making the Chilean firm a FTSE high-flyer.