Antofagasta’s copper output rises 13 per cent

Suzie Neuwirth
SHARES in Chilean miner Antofagasta Holdings remained volatile yesterday despite a strong quarterly production update, due to concerns surrounding the low copper price.

The FTSE 100-listed copper miner posted a 12.8 per cent increase in output of its key
commodity for the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same period last year. The company remains on track for its full-year production targets.

“Operationally, the company had a good quarter and did better than I expected, but the copper price will overshadow the performance and is a greater risk to the full-year results,” Marc Elliott, analyst at Investec, told City A.M.

“The assumed copper price is higher than what it is at the moment. The share price is down this afternoon as people are recognising that.”

Antofagasta said that the copper price in the first quarter of 2013 averaged at 359.8 cents per pound, compared to 376.9 cents per pound in the first quarter of 2012.

Copper production quarter-on-quarter fell 5.2 per cent due to the expected lower production at the Los Pelambres mine, as a result of scheduled plant maintenance.

However, the company saw a 12.8 per cent year-on-year increase due to higher output at the Esperanza mine.

Antofagasta’s shares closed 0.28 per cent lower at 895p yesterday.