Letter from the Chairman

"We have delivered progress on a number of projects in 2023, and we have reasons to look forward to a positive outlook for the year ahead."


Dear shareholders,

In 2023, we marked our 40th year of operating copper mines. Since the start of the Michilla mine in the north of Chile, and through careful planning, dedication, a clear vision and investment, we have grown to become one of the world’s leading copper producers. As a business focused on creating value for our employees, local communities, partners and shareholders, we are proud to reflect on the strong performance that was delivered in a safe and sustainable manner over the course of the year.

2023 Highlights

We delivered strong performance in 2023, with record safety performance and higher copper production following construction of the expansion at Los Pelambres. We have successfully protected profit margins during the recent period of high inflation, and we have continued to exceed the minimum payout ratio according to our dividend policy, proposing a full year dividend equal to 50% of underlying net earnings.

Investment is key to maintaining our competitiveness, and we made important decisions during the year to further develop our two principal mining districts – Los Pelambres and Centinela. Mining is a long-term business, and the decisions that we have taken have been carefully planned in order to create maximum long-term value for all our stakeholders.

We have recently completed construction of an expansion at Los Pelambres, which included building a desalination plant to increase water availability, as well as additional processing capacity at the mine. Also, we have approved the plan to double the capacity of our desalination plant and to build a new concentrate pipeline by the end of 2027, thereby securing the long-term future of Los Pelambres.

At Centinela, we approved the Second Concentrator Project, which will be another transformational project for the Company, adding an additional 170,000 tonnes of copper-equivalent production by 2027.

In December, we announced the expansion of our footprint outside Chile through an investment in Compañía de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A., Peru’s largest publicly traded mining company. This opportunity complements our exploration activities in recent years and significantly increases our exposure to Peru’s highly prospective geology. We will continue to evaluate opportunities to deliver value to all stakeholders.

Positive outlook in global copper markets

The copper price showed increased stability in 2023, with the energy transition helping to drive global demand for copper as a critical mineral across a broader range of industries. We remain confident in copper’s medium- to long-term fundamentals, with global copper supply unlikely to be able to sufficiently increase within the required timescale to meet this rising demand.

A focus on responsibly produced copper

The environment, climate change and the energy transition all play a critical role in our business model. Water availability affects our ability to produce copper consistently, which is the underlying reason for investing in desalination.

Having achieved our targeted emissions reduction in 2022, we have set ambitious new goals. We are aiming for a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2035 – all while continuing to expand production. The Board has also approved our first Scope 3 emissions reduction target. Collaborating with our suppliers in Chile by incentivising improvements to their business practices will be key to achieving this target.

With a safe, responsible and sustainable approach to copper production, we believe that we are well positioned to help countries and regions around the world in their efforts to pivot towards electrification and economies based on low-carbon technologies.

Delivering on our strategy

In growing and developing our business, we remain focused on our five strategic pillars, which are outlined below. With a clearly defined strategy, we are confident that we can deliver on our purpose of developing mining for a better future. While we remain committed to copper, and we are positive on its long-term outlook, a prudent and consistent approach to capital allocation is required to generate shareholder returns.

With our business model, which also focuses on sustainability, prioritising strong safety standards, collaboration with local communities, and efforts to limit our environmental footprint – we aim to deliver value for all stakeholders. This is an integral part of our purpose and will help us operate with the support of communities, governments and other stakeholders for the duration of our long-life assets.

Safety and sustainability

Safety is at the heart of our culture, and we are pleased to look back on a year of strong safety performance, with another year without fatalities and injury frequency rates falling by 25% to 0.63 lost time injuries occurring per 1 million hours worked, which is a new record for our business. To build a safety-first culture, a clear understanding of the risks and how to mitigate them is essential.

I am particularly proud of the safety performance of the expansion project at Los Pelambres, a project that required more than 39 million hours of work and several thousand contractors. In addition, we are proud of the progress made in our Transport division, where injury frequency rates fell by more than half during 2023 following the implementation of several safety initiatives.

Sustainability is an integral part of our strategy and is a fundamental driver behind demand for critical minerals, which will continue to be the case going forward. As a result, it is integrated into our business model and capital allocation framework.

People and culture

We have a workforce of over 29,000 people, spread across our four mines, Transport division, corporate offices and projects under construction. We couldn’t achieve our goals without an engaged and diverse workforce operating in a safe and inclusive environment. I am pleased we are continuing to develop and invest in our employees, increasing diversity and maintaining high levels of training.

The level of gender diversity across our business is progressing towards our goal of 30% by 2025, as our initiatives continue to increase female employment at each of our operations. We remain committed to diversity because of the benefits that this brings to our culture and leadership team.


Our success depends on being competitive and continuing to maintain our margins to deliver strong shareholder returns. Los Pelambres is a large, low-cost operation, and the construction of the Centinela Second Concentrator will improve Centinela’s competitiveness on the global cash cost curve. With these two large low-cost mining districts, which allow us to continue to grow into the future with an increased share of lower-cost concentrate volume in our portfolio, we are well placed to continue to deliver consistently strong financial performance and value to all our stakeholders.


In order to maintain or grow our output, we will continue to invest according to evolving social expectations and environmental standards. With the inauguration of our second Integrated Remote Operations Centre in 2023 in Santiago for Los Pelambres, following the opening of the Centinela facility in Antofagasta in 2021, we have seen productivity benefits while offering opportunities for personal development in the next generation of roles in mining.

Primary sulphide leaching continues to be a key focus area for the industry, with the potential to add new supply at lower capital intensity for lower grade ores. We continued to progress our proprietary Cuprochlor®-T technology, and we are pleased to report positive results in 2023.


With the investment in the Centinela Second Concentrator Project mentioned above, we will add 170,000 tonnes of copper-equivalent production to our portfolio. Through this project, the desalination plant and fourth concentrator line at Los Pelambres, we continue to develop our large resource base towards our target of producing up to 900,000 tonnes of copper per year in the near future.

These investments will provide a strong platform for growth in the coming years. The mining industry has a limited ability to meet rising copper demand from industries such as the energy, infrastructure and automotive sectors, among others. As a pure-play copper producer, we are well positioned thanks to our high-quality assets, track record of performance, and our pipeline of medium to long-term growth projects.

Our capital allocation framework guides all of our decisions. The capital needed for the investments planned at Centinela and Los Pelambres will see an increase in capital spend, peaking in 2025 and falling thereafter.

Board changes

In 2023, we saw several changes to the Board of Directors and Board Committees, which continued to refresh our thinking and bring new skill sets and perspectives as we embark on a new phase of growth. We have rotated the role of Senior Independent Director, which has been taken up by Francisca Castro, a member of our Board since 2016. I would like to thank Tony Jensen, who continues to be a valuable member of our Board, for his tenure in this role.

We have also welcomed two new Independent Non-Executive Directors. Heather Lawrence joined the Board in April 2023, and Tracey Kerr joined the Board in January 2024. Heather is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has strong financial experience and Tracey brings extensive global mining experience in areas including safety, sustainability, operations and exploration. Both Heather and Tracey have London listed company Board experience. Following these appointments, female representation at Board level increased to 45%.

I would like to thank Jorge Bande, who retired from the Board at the end of 2023 after serving for nine years, the tenure for independence recommended by the UK Corporate Governance Code, during which time he contributed significantly to the Company’s success.

Chile’s economic, social and political environment

Over the year, Chile concluded key debates on amendments to Chile’s mining royalty tax and a second proposal for a new constitution.

The new mining royalty has increased the tax burden for mining companies operating in Chile at a time when the mining industry requires additional capital to tackle declining grades and rising ore hardness, making it less attractive for companies to develop opportunities in Chile’s mining sector.

In December 2023, the people of Chile voted against the second proposal for a new Constitution. The government has said that they will not be seeking a third process to change the Constitution. Throughout this process, the population continued to focus on key concerns such as public order and safety, economic growth and employment.

We hope that having completed these two processes, Chile will take this opportunity to enter an era of common understanding and political consensus to achieve higher levels of economic and social prosperity that will allow for the advancement of important social reforms, such as those relating to pensions, health and education.

On the economic front, the International Monetary Fund forecasts that Chile’s economy will return to growth in 2024, following a contraction in 2023.2 Inflation rates appear to have passed the peak seen in 2022 and early 2023, which exceeded 13% for several months, putting an excessive strain on both individuals and businesses. This outlook is consistent with the broader global trend, with increasing signs of economic activity across key markets for copper in 2024.


As a business, we remain optimistic and realistic about the year ahead.

Significant investment decisions, such as those at Centinela and Los Pelambres, bring with them execution risks that naturally accompany construction projects of this scale. While we are confident in the level of engineering and the studies that have supported these decisions, we are mindful of the challenges in the construction of major mining projects in Chile. These challenges include lessons learned from the recent expansion at Los Pelambres, where we experienced delays to critical path works and cost inflation. Although this was caused in part by external events such as the disruption of global supply chains relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, there are also local challenges including in relation to productivity.

As a responsible and profitable copper producer with sustainable growth, we are in a position to respond to global macroeconomic trends. The energy transition is driven by electrification, which demands increasing amounts of copper for the global economy. Antofagasta has the track record of performance and creating value for all our stakeholders. We have two world class mining districts, a strong balance sheet and a dedicated workforce, which are all key enablers for achieving our purpose of developing mining for a better future.