Antofagasta cuts dividend

ANTOFAGASTA cut back on dividends yesterday to spend more on a new generation of growth projects, a shift that the copper miner said was also behind the abrupt departure last week of its long-standing chief executive.

The Chilean miner disappointed market hopes for another bumper payout, announcing a full year dividend of less than half 2010 levels, though profits rose 32 per cent on strong metal prices.

The group’s dividend cut followed the unexpected exit of chief executive Marcelo Awad on 7 March.