Higher output and metal prices boost Antofagasta

CHILEAN copper miner Antofagasta reported a surge in nine-month profit on the back of higher output and metals prices, but this fell short of some investors’ expectations.

The London-listed group also said it had launched operations at its new Esperanza mine, part of an expansion that is due to lift output by a third next year.

Nine-month earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) jumped 74 per cent to $1.96bn (£1.24bn), but this was less than expected.

“It was a small miss, maybe three to five per cent,” said one analyst who declined to be named, referring to Antofagasta’s ebitda. He noted that losses from commodity derivatives had shaved $52.6m from profits.

Output from Esperanza, together with expansion at the company’s flagship Los Pelambres mine, is due to boost annual copper output next year by about a third to 700,000 tonnes.