Chilean mining giant Antofagasta is to review its expenditure for 2020, despite strong results for 2019.
The London-listed company said this was due to the current international uncertainty due to coronavirus.
Its shares rose as much as 13 per cent this morning following the announcement.
“In view of the current global situation, the expenditure programme is being reviewed to identify possible savings or deferrals,” Antofagasta said in a statement.
At the end of 2019, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) was $2.4bn (£1.9bn), an increase of 9.5 per cent on 2018’s $2.2bn.
This was driven by lower cost and a boosted revenue of $4.9bn, a 4.9 per cent growth in the same period from $4.7bn.
The board declared a final earning per share of 50.9 cent, 1.2 per cent lower than 51.5p in 2018.
Net debt was $563.4m, a fall of 5.5 per cent on 2018’s $596.3m.
Cash flow from its operations increased 37 per cent from $1.8bn to $2.5bn.
“We are taking every measure possible to keep our colleagues safe and healthy, and our operations have not yet been impacted by the virus,” said boss Ivan Arrigada.
“The strength of our balance sheet, the flexibility of our cash flow due to our cost and competitiveness programme and our strong safety and health culture means that the business is extremely robust in this challenging macro environment,” he added.
Though he could not predict he said he could not predict the full consequences of the coronavirus, Arrigada said the firm “remains in good shape”.
Going ahead, the company is hoping to produce between 725,000 and 755,000 tonnes of copper.
The firm posted these results despite suffering disruption from industrial action in Chile last year.