Antofagasta maintains guidance despite Chilean protests
Antofagasta on Wednesday maintained annual guidance as it reported a rise in third-quarter group copper production but warned that protests in Chile could interfere with its operations.
Group copper production in the third quarter was 197,000 tonnes, 4.6% ahead of the same period last year but 0.8% lower than the previous quarter after the company encountered lower ore grades at its Los Pelambres mine.
Gold production for the year to date was 88.7% higher at 226,600 ounces, but down 10.7% compared to the prior quarter at 77,600 ounces.
The FTSE 100 company maintained full-year production guidance at 750-790,000 tonnes of copper, but cautioned that 2020 production would be between 725-755,000 tonnes of copper as grades decline at Centinela Concentrates before rising again in 2021.
Antofagasta cut full-year cost expectations to below £1.25 per pound of copper after achieving lower cash costs before by-product credits.
Chief executive Iván Arriagada said: "We delivered another quarter of strong production underpinned by a consistent operating performance, which together with higher grades at some of our operations, contributed to year to date copper volumes of 584,200 tonnes which are 16% higher than the same period in 2018."
However, the mining giant warned that recent civil unrest in Chile could disrupt the delivery of supplies and the transport of employees and contractors to its operations, with the impact on production expected to be approximately 5,000 tonnes.
The South American nation has been rocked by violent demonstrations after a dispute over metro prices spiralled into widespread protests against rising cost of living and low wages.
Antofagasta shares were down by 0.70% at 854.60p at 0803 BST.