Bloomberg reports Antofagasta Plc, the copper giant controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, on Wednesday said second-quarter output increased 17% boosted by additional ore from the Esperanza mine in Chile that began shipping at the start of the year.
Antofagasta is actively diversifying outside of its home base and is awaiting the outcome of a joint bid for a mine in Pakistan that has the potential to add 200,000 tonnes of copper annually.
Bloomberg reports copper output climbed to 158,700 metric tons in the quarter. First-half output was 288,500 tons, up 14 percent from a year earlier. Los Pelambres, the company’s largest plant, increased production as copper metal grades rose and it processed more ore.
Reuters reports a joint venture between Antofagasta and Barrick Gold expects a decision on a key mining license in Pakistan by mid-September.
Construction of the mine in the country's poorest region, Baluchistan, is projected to cost $3.4 billion, though that is based on 2009 numbers and is likely to rise, given higher costs faced by the industry for everything from steel and labour to energy, particularly in remote areas.