Tuesday 16 March 2021 8:12 am

Antofagasta revenue ticks up on surging metal prices

Mining giant Antofagasta saw its revenue tick up in 2020 as climbing copper and gold prices offset a small production decline.

The Chile-based miner said that revenue hit $5.1bn in the last financial year, up 3.3 per cent on the prior period.

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Earnings grew 12.3 per cent to $2.7bn, it added, due to a cheaper Chilean peso and tighter cost controls.

As a result of lower grades at its Centinela Concentrates mine, copper and gold production slipped 4.7 and 27.7 per cent respectively, Antofagasta said.

But this will be reversed over the coming year, it added.

On the back of the impressive performance, the firm’s board has proposed a final dividend of 48.5 cents, taking the total dividend for the year to 54.7 cents.

The total payout is some three times higher than that handed out at the end of the prior year, continuing a recent trend of hefty payouts from FTSE miners.

Iván Arriagada said: “The year has been challenging, but we have successfully kept our people safe and healthy, achieved our production and exceeded our cost targets, and increased EBITDA by 12.3 per cent to $2.7bn, yielding a 53 per cent EBITDA margin. I am proud of how everyone at Antofagasta has worked together and adjusted to overcome the year’s challenges.

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“Our resilient operations performed well with high levels of throughput and our Cost and Competitiveness Programme delivered benefits of $197 million, nearly double the targeted amount. Our balance sheet strengthened even further.

“Full year copper production was 733,900 tonnes and net cash costs were $1.14/lb, reflecting the company’s agility in changing operating conditions.