Q3 Antofagasta Production Boosted by Los Pelambres, Centinela — Commodity Commentary



Antofagasta PLC on Wednesday announced a 40% increase in copper production in the quarter and supported the full year forecast. Here is what the Chilean copper miner had to say:

Manufacturing :

“The Group’s copper production in Q3 2022 was 181,900 tonnes, 40% higher than the previous quarter, with production nearly doubling at Los Pelambres, thanks to better water availability and higher grades. higher in Centinela.

“The Group’s copper production for the first nine months of the year amounted to 450,600 tonnes, 17% lower than the same period last year, mainly due to the temporary reduction in throughput (-24%) at Los Pelambres due to drought and reduced concentrate pipeline availability in June and lower grade forecasts (22%) at Centinela Concentrates. »

“Gold production for the quarter was 46,900 ounces, 33% higher than the prior quarter, primarily due to higher throughput at Los Pelambres and higher grades at Centinela. for the year fell 36% to 120,700 ounces due to expected lower ratings at Centinela.”

“Molybdenum production in the quarter was 2,600 tonnes, 30% higher than the prior quarter due to increased throughput at Los Pelambres. throughput and grades at Los Pelambres.”

On cash fees:

“Cash cost before by-product credits in Q3 2022 was $2.12/lb, 28 c/lb lower than Q2, reflecting improved production during the period. “

“Cash costs before by-product credits in the first nine months of the year were $2.27/lb, 30% higher than the same period last year, primarily due to the temporary decline in 1H production and higher input prices during the period, particularly for diesel and sulfuric acid. Other inflationary pressures were more than offset by the weak Chilean peso.”

“Net cash costs were $1.66/lb in Q3 2022 and $1.76/lb year-to-date, down 13% from the prior quarter and 53% lower. more than the same period last year, respectively. This increase reflects the increase in cash costs before by-product credits and lower by-product credits due to lower by-product production. »

At orientation:

“Copper production guidance for 2022 is unchanged at the lower end of the 640,000 to 660,000 tonne range.”

“In 2023, copper production is expected to be between 670,000 and 710,000 tonnes, with the completion of the desalination and concentration plants at Los Pelambres, and a decline in production at Centinela Cathodes.”

“The cost and competitiveness program is on track to achieve targeted savings of more than $50 million during the year.”

“Mine sustaining and development capital expenditures are expected to average about $1 billion per year for the coming years, with some larger projects advanced, such as the expansion of the desalination plant at Los Pelambres and the replacement of its concentrate pipeline.”

“Development spending in 2023 will include residual spending from the Los Pelambres expansion project and any spending from the second concentrator at Centinela if approved during the year.”

Write to Ian Walker at [email protected]

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