Chilean copper producer Antofagasta Minerals Plc ended 2018 on a high note exceeding its previously reported guidance. The company cited greater volumes mined at it operations as well as better ore grades at Centinela.

In the fourth quarter, Antofagasta reported production of 220,000 metric tons (mt) of copper compared to 177,800 mt during the same period last year. That brought total production for 2018 to 725,300 mt, an increase of 3% over 2017.

“We have continued to make progress in achieving operational improvements during 2018, and on this basis, we project a new production increase in 2019,” said CEO Ivan Arriagada.

The company maintained its production forecast for the year and now expects to invest $1.2 billion in 2019, an amount that will be partly used to expand its Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile. Los Pelambres already provides about half of Antofagasta’s production.

For 2019, Antofagasta expects its copper production to be in the range of 750,000 mt to 790,000 mt.