Speaking on the sidelines of the World Copper Conference held this week in Santiago, chief executive Iván Arriagada said the company will only go ahead with the project if it meets Antofagasta’s return criteria.
Antofagasta Minerals Mining News
The Chilean miner expects demand to outstrip supply in 2019 as consumption growth remains positive, but production increases continue to be minimal.
The miner produced 220,000 tonnes of the red metal in the three months to December, up 16% from the previous quarter, boosted by higher throughput and improved copper grades.
Ore grades and efficient processing increase output in the world's top producer of the red metal.
The company said the expansion, to start in early 2019, would add an average 60,000 tonnes of copper a year to its production over the first 15 years of operation.
The Zaldívar copper mine in Chile, a joint venture between Antofagasta and Barrick, will be able to replace greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 350,000 tonnes per year, or about 87,000 vehicles annually.
Company now expects to produce between 705,000-725,000 tonnes this year, down from the earlier 705-740,000 tonnes target.
Production in the second-quarter of the year jumped 6.1% to 163,200 tonnes, as higher output at its Centinela and Antucoya mines mitigated declines at Los Pelambres and Zaldívar.
The miner said it would take up to three months for stocks to return to normal, which will affect both projected output and sales in the six months ending June 30.
Copper production fell to 153,800 tonnes from 171,900 tonnes, due mostly to lower grades at the company's Centinela and Los Pelambres mines.
Chile-focused miner is raising its dividend by 177%.
Unionized workers company’s latest offer for a collective labour agreement.
Chile-focused miner also expects costs to rise on tailings dam expenditure.
The miner believes a tightening global supply of copper will keep prices on the high-end of the spectrum this year and next.
Miner said country offers more favourable conditions to start new projects than Chile, where Antofagasta has majority stakes in four copper mines and has just opened a new one — Antucoya.
Workers at Zaldivar are set to vote on a strike this week, while supervisors at Centinela mine have already decided it, but expect a government mediation mechanism to extend negotiations for at least five more days.
The company expects demand to increase 3% this year, while no new mines are scheduled to come online in the short-term and supply disruptions continue.
Chile's environmental regulator has drawn up nine charges against the copper mine for mismanaging water resources and nearby flora.
The Chilean copper miner said full-year production would be at the lower end of the 710,000 to 740,000 tonnes it predicted in January.
The appointment is effective immediately and Hernandez, who had been CEO since 2014, will remain as an adviser to the board.
The London Metal Exchange’s three-month copper contract fell as much as 1.4%, the most since Feb. 10, to $4,580 a metric ton.
Locals claim the dam has diverted the course of a local estuary, causing water shortages at a time of drought.
The proceeds of the sale will be used to reduce a debt pile of $13 billion with a target of wiping out $3 billion this year.
The ongoing slump in copper prices spells trouble for Chile's mining industry, where most medium-sized producers are already unable to make a profit.
The companies said no damages have been registered at the mines, but operations were cancelled for safety reasons.