Xstrata copper production dips as flagship mine suffers slump

COPPER production at miner Xstrata dipped by 16 per cent year on year in the third quarter, hurt by falling production at its Collahuasi mine in Chile.

Xstrata, which is currently in the final throes of a merger with commodity giant Glencore, said yesterday total production of copper fell to 187,800 tonnes over the three months to September.

It said yesterday that production at Collahuasi, a joint venture with Anglo American and Mitusi, will ramp up through the fourth quarter, and output levels above 400,000 tonnes of copper a year are targeted from 2013. Over the quarter, production at Collahuasi fell 44 per cent.

Xstrata added that coal production edged up to 24m tonnes from 23.6 tonnes over the quarter, while zinc output fell slightly to 181,992 tonnes from 184,220 tonnes a year previously. Nickel production remained flat year on year.

The Swiss miner made no reference to the £56bn mega-merger with Glencore in the update.

Analysts at Macquarie said in a note yesterday that it anticipates the shareholder vote will be held in mid-to-late November, and that it expects Xstrata shareholders to vote in favour of the merger.