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Low copper prices strike Antofagasta

CHILEAN copper miner Antofagasta said yesterday that weak copper prices and a decline in output had severely impacted its business over the first nine months of the year, causing losses to spiral out of control.<br /><br />The London Stock Exchange-listed firm posted a pre-tax loss of $125m (&pound;75.8m) over the nine months to September, more than sixty times the $2m loss it made over the same period last year.<br /><br />Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) for the period almost halved to $1.13bn, while revenue plunged 39 per cent to $2.02bn.<br /><br />Antofagasta released production data earlier this month showing that nine-month production dipped 8.2 per cent to 328,100 tonnes, although the figure was ahead of the company&rsquo;s forecast.<br /><br />Copper prices slid last year amid the global downturn and the average price on the London Metal Exchange for the nine months was 211.5 cents per pound, down from 361.3 cents last year, the firm said.