Antofagasta plc reported that 2016 copper production increased by 12.5% to 709,400 metric tons (mt). This was driven by higher copper production in Chile at Centinela and additional production coming from its Antucoya and Zaldívar operations, and was partly offset by the closure of Michilla at the end of 2015. 

“As expected, Antofagasta put in a strong performance in the final quarter of 2016 with production up 13.8% versus the previous quarter,” said Antofagasta plc CEO Iván Arriagada. “Net cash costs for 2016 fell by 20% year-on-year, to $1.20/lb benefiting from rigorous cost control, increased production and lower input prices.”

The company’s new Antucoya mine successfully ramped up to full production and its latest acquisition, Zaldívar, contributed its first full year of production.

Antofagasta’s copper production in the fourth quarter of 2016 was 205,500 mt, 13.8% higher than the previous quarter with strong performances from Centinela, Zaldívar and Los Pelambres driven by higher grades and increased throughput. The company also reported fourth quarter gold production of 91,100 oz, a 29.7% quarter-to-quarter increase due to higher grades and throughput at Centinela. For the full year, production was 270,900 oz, 26.6% higher than in 2015, again reflecting better grades and throughput at Centinela.

In related news, Los Pelambres will transfer its 40% interest in Alto Maipo to AES Gener and the pricing of the electricity provided by the project to Los Pelambres will be reduced. This transaction is subject to approval by the lenders.