Antofagasta’s earnings jump 30 per cent

City A.M. Reporter
CHILEAN copper miner Antofagasta posted a 30 per cent rise in core earnings in the three months to March, as higher prices for the red metal and marginally higher volumes offset increased costs.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the first quarter climbed to $811.9m (£495.8m) from $623.4m a year ago. Revenue rose just over 29 per cent to $1.27bn. Copper prices have fallen back in recent weeks after hitting a record high of $10,190 in the first-quarter, but concerns over tight supply remain.

The world’s largest mine, Chile’s Escondida, said on Wednesday that output slipped in the quarter on the back of maintenance and lower ore grades, adding to mounting evidence of a potential shortfall this year.

Antofagasta, the world’s 11th largest copper producer, said earlier this month that copper production for the first-quarter came in about 29,000 tonnes below initial targets.

Antofagasta said it had concluded negotiations with the plant union at Los Pelambres for a new 44 month labour agreement. It struck a deal with the main union last November, agreeing a new 46 month labour agreement.