Antofagasta on track for target

City A.M. Reporter
CHILEAN miner Antofagasta posted an increase in second quarter copper output, setting it on track to hit its full-year target, as the cost of producing a pound of red metal dipped, thanks to improvements at trouble-hit mine Esperanza.

Antofagasta, which recently appointed copper heavyweight Diego Hernandez as its chief executive, said production rose 6.3 per cent in the quarter compared with the previous three months to 173,200 tonnes. It expects to hit a full-year production target of 700,000 tonnes.

Gold production was 72,600 ounces in the quarter, again above the previous quarter as Esperanza got back on track, and almost 50 per cent above the year ago, when the new mine was ramping up. Group cash costs, net of by-product credits, came in at 99.3 cents per pound, marginally above the previous quarter.