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Chile’s copper output flat as BHP rise offsets Codelco fall

Keywords: Tags  Codelco, Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile, Escondida, BHP Billiton, Anglo American Sur, Antofagasta, Cochilco, Collahuasi copper

SÃO PAULO — Chile’s copper production in April was virtually flat compared with the same month last year as larger volumes from BHP Billiton Plc’s Escondida Mine offset lower production at state-owned Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco).

Production at London-based BHP’s Escondida Mine totaled 96,500 tonnes in April, up 8.7 percent from a year earlier, while Codelco’s output fell by a similar percentage to 118,400 tonnes.

The country’s total copper production reached 442,700 tonnes (163,000 tonnes of copper cathode and 279,700 tonnes of copper in concentrate), down 0.3 percent from 443,900 tonnes in April 2012, according to national copper commission Cochilco.

Codelco’s overall production decline was due to decreases in the company’s Chuquicamata y Radomiro Tomic and Minera Gaby divisions.

Chuquicamata y Radomiro Tomic, the Santiago-based company’s largest operation, saw output fall 23.8 percent to 50,000 tonnes while production from the Minera Gaby operation fell 1.7 percent to 11,500 tonnes, more than offsetting a 9.4-percent increase to 34,800 tonnes at El Teniente and a 5.7-percent rise to 18,300 tonnes at Andina project.

London-based Antofagasta Plc’s Los Pelambres Mine saw output inch up 0.3 percent to 34,100 tonnes in April from 34,000 tonnes a year earlier and Santiago-based Anglo American Sur SA reported a 9.5-percent increase in production to 37,700 tonnes, but Collahuasi, owned by London-based Anglo American Plc (44 percent), Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore Xstrata Plc (44 percent) and other investors, reported a 37.8-percent decrease in output to 18,100 tonnes.

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

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