Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) is targeting
output of 2.5 million tonnes per year by 2021, according to
local media reports.
"To maintain our position as the
leading global producer of fine copper, we intend to bring our
production levels to 2.5 million tonnes of fine copper by
2021," president and chief executive officer Thomas Keller
Lippold was quoted as saying on Chilean news website Emol. This
includes the companys stakes in El Abra (49 percent) and
Anglo American Sur (20 percent), he added.
The "survival" of the company as
it is today depends on the realization of planned projects, he
"If Codelco does not perform the
structural projects we have identified, the production at the
end of the next decade will be less than half of what we have
today," he added.
The Chilean state-owned copper
producer announced in March that it will invest more than $5
billion this year, $2.9 billion of which will be used in
structural projects mainly to extend the life span of its
The Chilean government has
voiced its approval of Codelcos plans.
"The government has expressed
its support for the companys investment program.
Naturally we have to analyze and discuss it, bearing in mind
that (Codelco) needs to keep investing to develop its full
potential," Chilean finance minister Felipe Larraín
Bascuñán said in a statement after taking part in
a shareholders meeting.
Costs, which have seen a
"significant rise" in the past year, are also a major challenge
for Codelco, the minister added.
"There are factors such as
energy affecting the entire industry, and what we want is to
converge from costs that are slightly above the industry
average in the second quarter in order to make the operation
more profitable," Codelco board chairman Gerardo Jofré
Miranda said in a statement.
companys copper output fell 5.1 percent year on year in
2012 to 1.64 million tonnes, the lowest level since 2009.
A version of this article
was first published in AMM sister publication Metal