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Antofagasta reports H1 2021 copper production in line with expectations

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(Kitco News) - Chile-focused copper mining company Antofagasta (ANTO:LSE) reported today that the group's copper production in Q2 2021 was 178,400 tonnes, a decrease of 2.5% compared to the previous quarter, mainly because of lower recoveries at Centinela Cathodes and expected lower grades at Zaldívar.

According to the company's statement, Antofagasta's copper production in the first six months of the year was 361,500 tonnes, in line with expectations and 2.8% lower than in the same period last year mainly because of lower grades.

The company said that cash costs before by-product credits in the quarter were $1.77/lb of copper, 9c/lb higher than in the first quarter and for the first half of the year were $1.73/lb, 14.6% higher than in the same period last year primarily because of the stronger Chilean peso (11%), higher energy and diesel prices, and the lower copper production.

Gold production for the quarter increased by 3.9% to 61,400 ounces compared with Q1 mainly due to higher grades at Centinela, and for the first six months increased by 8.5% to 120,500 ounces.

Molybdenum production was 2,800 tonnes, some 200 tonnes lower than previous quarter. For the year to date, production was 5,800 tonnes, 5.5% higher than in the same.

CEO Iván Arriagada said, "The cost and production performance over the first half of this year was in line with guidance and supports our strong track record of resilience and operational excellence. We produced 361,500 tonnes of copper at a net cash cost of $1.14/lb over the period and retain guidance for the full year at 730-760,000 tonnes of copper at a net cash cost of $1.25/lb and capital expenditure of $1.6 billion."

Antofagasta's four operations in Chile are Los Pelambres, Centinela, Antucoya and Zaldívar. The world-class Los Pelambres and Centinela mining districts have sustainable long-life copper mining operations, with large mineral resources, and produce significant volumes of gold, silver and molybdenum as by-products. All of the company's mines are open pit operations.

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