British multinational Antofagasta has remained in line with expectations, registering a steady production during the third quarter of 2021, with copper and gold increasing by 1.5 and 8.8 per cent compared to the previous one.
Cost performance was also in line with the group’s predictions even though the company – like many others – is still suffering the effects of the global energy and supply chain crises, including higher commodity and input prices.
“Our copper production and cost performance during the quarter was in line with our expectations despite external pressures such as the ongoing drought in Chile, the global supply chain challenges, the energy crisis and higher input costs,” said Antofagasta’s chief executive Ivan Arriagada.
The company, whose main operations are in Latin American countries such as Chile and Bolivia, has also suffered from the weakening of the Chilean peso and a labour market that has not yet recovered from Covid-19.
Antofagasta’s cash costs before by-product credits were $1.79/lb, 2c/lb higher than in the second quarter, while its net cash costs went up by 2.7 per cent.
“Year-to-date production and net cash costs were very similar to last year at 542,600 tonnes at $1.15/lb and we remain on track to deliver on our previously stated production guidance of 710-740,000 tonnes for the full year and, despite input cost pressures, our net cash costs are now expected to be lower than our original guidance of $1.25/lb,” he added.
“The Covid-19 situation in Chile continues to improve but the measures we implemented last year will stay in place as we continue to prioritise the health and safety of our employees and surrounding communities.
“While we expect the extraordinary global supply chain events and energy crisis to ease over time, we remain focused on controlling costs while progressing our current and future growth projects.”