Chilean mining company, Antofagasta Minerals S.A. (AMSA), one of the largest players in the world copper industry, reported a 22.6% increase in red metal production in the first quarter of 2019 and maintained its forecasts for the year. Antofagasta mined 188,600 tons of fine copper between January and March, compared to 153,800 tons produced in the same period last year, in line with estimates for 2019, according to the company.

The company also said the results were driven by higher ore quality and better performance, mainly at its Centinela ore deposit. The annual production forecast of 750,000-790,000 tons of copper expected by Antofagasta Minerals remains unchanged.

“The good level of operational performance achieved in the second half of 2018 continues and we are in line to achieve a new annual production record,” said AMSA Executive President Iván Arriagada.

The results were encouraging for copper investors, given the concerns raised that China — the world’s largest consumer of copper — is showing signs of slowing down.