Costs force Antofagasta to warn over gold and copper output

CHILEAN copper miner Antofagasta topped the FTSE 100 loser board yesterday as it warned on copper and gold production.

Output this year is expected to fall to around 700,000 tonnes of copper and 260,000 ounces of gold, due to higher on-site costs at both the Esperanza and Los Pelambres mines.

The cost to mine a pound of copper is also expected to increase, Antofagasta said, from 140 cents per pound to 185 cents per pound this year.

Ben Davies at Liberum yesterday said costs were “significantly higher” than expected.

The miner yesterday posted a 10.8 per cent increase in copper output over 2012 to hit 709,600 tonnes. Gold production rose to 299,900 ounces last year, compared to 196,800 ounces over the previous year, reflecting higher throughput at its Esperanza mine.

Shares closed down 8.31 per cent yesterday at 1,169p.