Antofagasta slashes copper production targets

Antofagasta lowers copper production targets

Antofagasta has cut its copper production targets as it is plagued by water shortages in drought-stricken Chile.

While it generated 295,500 tons of copper in the first six months of 2023, up 10 percent year-on-year, it said it had to cut full-year estimates.

The company lowered its annual production forecast to between 640,000 and 670,000 tons, down from its previous estimate of up to 710,000 tons.

Production drop: While Antofagasta generated 295,500 tonnes of copper in the first six months of 2023, it said it had to cut full-year estimates

It blames this on water shortages. Water is crucial in copper smelting and in the concentrator, where raw ore is broken down and processed.

To make matters worse, it has struggled with delays at its flagship Los Pelambres mine due to sea swells.

The project should be completed in the second half of the year. Cash costs rose 27 percent in the second quarter, driven by broader inflationary pressures.

Shares in the company, which runs four mines in Chile, fell 1.4 percent, or 20.5p, to 1486.5p.