Output up 72.4% at Chile’s Escondida copper mine

Production at Chile’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, was up 72.4% in the third quarter compared with the same period of 2011, said the country’s copper commission on Wednesday.

According to Terra.cl (in Spanish), production in Q3 reached 253,800 tonnes.  Additionally, better ore grades and a low base of comparison drove these improved results from the same quarter in 2011.

The mine, majority owned by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), extracts about 7% of the world’s copper.

Escondida, one of the lowest cost copper producers, generated 787,000 tonnes between January and September, up almost 32% from the same period in 2011.

Besides Escondida, BHP Latin American operate iron ore mines in Brazil, other copper mines in Chile and Peru, and has a 33.3% stake in the Cerrejon mine in Colombia, the largest coal operation in Latin America.

Image of The “Human Squirrel,” who did many daring “stunts” in climbing for benefit of War Relief Funds in New York City, 1918. By The U.S. National Archives.

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