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Chile’s copper output up 7.7% in 1st qtr.

Keywords: Tags  Chile, production, Codelco, Antofagasta, Los Pelambres, Anglo American, Xstrata

SÃO PAULO — Chile saw a 7.7-percent year-on-year increase in copper production in the first quarter of 2013 on larger volumes at Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) and BHP Billiton Plc’s Escondida and Antofagasta Plc’s Los Pelambres projects.

The country’s copper output reached 1.37 million tonnes in the quarter, up from 1.27 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2012, according to Chilean copper commission Cochilco.

The country produced 492,000 tonnes of copper cathode and 885,300 tonnes of copper-in-concentrate.

Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer, reported a 3.2-percent year-on-year rise in output for January to March 2013, with production at 305,500 tonnes in the quarter.

Chuquicamata y Radomiro Tomic, the company’s largest project, posted a 10.2-percent year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2013 at 183,400 tonnes.

The company also reported an increase in output at its El Teniente project, where production was up by 1.6 percent year on year to 98,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, production at Codelco’s Andina project was down 6.1 percent year on year to 58,200 tonnes, while its Minera Gaby project posted a 6.6-percent year-on-year fall to 32,300 tonnes in the first quarter of 2013.

Output at the BHP Billiton-controlled Escondida increased 27.2 percent year on year in the first quarter to 305,500 tonnes.

Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres saw output up 5.5 percent year on year to 104,700 tonnes in the quarter.

Anglo American Sur SA reported a 7.6-percent increase in production to 113,500 tonnes.

Collahuasi, another major mine, reported a 12.8-percent decrease in output in the first quarter of the year to 66,900 tonnes. The mine is owned by a consortium consisting of Anglo American Plc (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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