SÃO PAULO Chilean copper producer Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chiles (Codelcos) copper sales revenues fell by 10.7 percent year on year in 2012 on the back of lower copper prices, higher costs and lower mined grades.
Copper production at Codelco hit the lowest level since 2009, reporting a 5.1-percent fall in output over 2011 to 1.65 million tonnes.
The state-owned companys copper sales in the period totaled $12.79 billion, compared with $14.33 billion in 2011. However, pre-tax profits rose to $7.52 billion from $7.03 billion due to gains from its August 2012 purchase of a stake in Anglo American Sur SA, the company said.
Taking into account the companys stakes in Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.s El Abra Mine and the Anglo American Sur mine, copper sales volumes fell 6.1 percent year on year to 1.74 million tonnes in 2012.
Average copper prices in the period fell to $3.61 per pound ($7,936 per tonne) vs. $4 per pound ($8,796 per tonne) in 2011, according to Codelco.
Codelcos average ore grades were 0.73 percent in 2012, down from about 0.78 percent a year earlier.
Revenues from byproducts, such as molybdenum and sulfuric acid, totaled $696 million in 2012 vs. $1 billion a year earlier.
Codelco invested $4.09 billion in projects last year, and intends to invest more than $5 billion in 2013.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.