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Chile’s copper production up 3.3 percent in November

Keywords: Tags  Chile, copper, production, BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Codelco, Escondida

SÃO PAULO — Miners in Chile posted a 3.3-percent year-on-year increase in copper production in November 2012 on larger volumes at BHP Billiton Plc’s Escondida, Anglo American Plc’s Sur and Antofagasta Plc’s Los Pelambres projects.

Copper output from all mines reached 479,100 tonnes in the month, up from 463,700 tonnes a year earlier, according to Chile’s copper commission, Cochilco.

In the January-to-November period, output stood at 4.91 million tonnes of copper, compared with 4.74 million tonnes in the same period in 2011.

Production at BHP Billiton’s Escondida increased 32.7 percent year on year in November to 94,900 tonnes. Anglo American’s Sur reported a 16.2-percent increase in production to 34,300 tonnes, while Los Pelambres saw production rise by 7 percent year on year to 39,700 tonnes in November.

Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), the world’s biggest copper producer, continued to report lower production. The Chilean company reported a 6.3-percent fall in output over the same period to 141,700 tonnes.

The fall was due to lower output at two of the company’s main projects, Chuquicamata y Radomiro Tomic and El Teniente. Chuquicamata y Radomiro Tomic reported an output of 61,200 tonnes in November 2012, against 70,600 tonnes in the same month of 2011.

Production at El Teniente fell to 39,900 tonnes from 42,800 tonnes in November 2011.

Codelco’s Andina and Minera Gaby operations registered growth in output.

Production at Andina was up 5.3 percent to 21,800 tonnes, while Minera Gaby added 10.6 percent to 12,500 tonnes in November 2012 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Codelco’s total copper output for the January-to-November period stood at 1.47 million tonnes, down from 1.55 million tonnes in the first 11 months of 2011.

Collahuasi, another major mine, reported a 30.2-percent decrease in output in November 2012 to 22,600 tonnes. The mine is owned by a consortium consisting of Anglo American (44 percent), Xstrata Plc (44 percent) and other investors.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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