Escondida sees output fall, Codelco boosts production

BHP Billiton has a 57% stake in Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine. (Image courtesy of BHP Billiton)

BHP’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, saw production fall in September while top miner Codelco saw output rise amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the South American nation, according to government figures released Tuesday.

The Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) reported that Codelco – the world’s largest copper mining company – boosted production by 9.6% year-on-year to 159,200 tonnes. The company ratcheted up output by 2.9% between January and September despite restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus.

BHP’s Escondida – the largest single copper deposit in the world – saw production drop off by 6% year-on-year, to 94,100 tonnes. Between January and September, the mine’s output has nonetheless increased 2.4%.

Collahuasi – a partnership between Glencore and Anglo American – reported a 9.4% year-on-year increase in output in September, to 53,400 tonnes. It has reported a total increase in production of 23.2% year to date.

Chile, the world’s top copper producing country, saw its total production fall 0.8% in September to 479,900 tonnes. Copper output through between January and September was up 0.4%, to 4.26 million tonnes.

(By Fabian Cambero and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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