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Antofagasta output beats expectations on copper

CHILEAN miner Antofagasta said output for the year was slightly ahead of forecasts despite third-quarter copper production falling 11 per cent on lower quality ore at its flagship mine.<br /><br />In August, the London-listed group raised its full-year copper production forecast to about 447,000 tonnes but this is still 6.4 per cent lower than its output last year.<br /><br />&ldquo;As forecast, production (in the third quarter) decreased compared with the same period in 2008 mainly due to lower throughput at Los Pelambres,&rdquo; Antofagasta said yesterday, adding that there was more hard primary ore its flagship mine.<br /><br />&ldquo;Cumulative production in the first nine months of the year was slightly ahead of budget at 328,100 tonnes,&rdquo; it said.<br /><br />Citigroup said in a note that production was largely in line with its forecast but advised investors to wait for share price declines as a cheaper re-entry point.