Return to news listing NEWS RELEASE - 26.04.17

Quarterly Production Report - Q1 2017

Antofagasta plc CEO, Iván Arriagada said: “We have started the year with a continued focus on cost efficiency and productivity improvements. Production is in line with our expectations and is some 9% higher than in the same quarter of last year. When compared with the last quarter of 2016 the lower production reflects the expected grade decline at Los Pelambres and Centinela. 

“Cash costs before by-product credits were 8% lower compared with the same quarter last year as we continue to progress our cost improvement measures.

“We reassert our guidance for the year of 685-720,000 tonnes of copper at a cash cost before by-product credits of $1.55/lb and a net cash cost of $1.30/lb.”



  • Copper production in Q1 2017 increased by 9.4% compared with the same quarter in 2016 to 171,900 tonnes with higher production at Centinela, and Antucoya now operating at full production
  • Compared with the previous quarter, copper production reduced by 16.4% due to expected lower grades at Los Pelambres and Centinela Concentrates
  • Gold production was 53,300 ounces in Q1 2017, 6.0% lower than in Q1 2016 and 41.5% lower than in the previous quarter as grades declined at Centinela
  • Molybdenum production at Los Pelambres increased by 29.4% compared to the same period in 2016 as grades increased and by 10.0% compared with the previous quarter as recoveries improved


  • Cash costs before by-product credits in the quarter improved by 7.6% compared to Q1 2016 to $1.59/lb as a result of productivity gains and cost improvements on an increased production base 
  • Cash costs before by-product credits were 8.9% higher than in Q4 2016. This increase is mainly related to the lower production partly offset by productivity improvements and cost savings. Net cash costs were $1.27/lb in Q1 2017, 7.3% lower than in Q1 2016 and 12.4% higher than the previous quarter, broadly reflecting the changes in cash costs before by-product credits


  • Guidance is unchanged. Group copper production for the full year is expected to be 685-720,000 tonnes, with production higher in the second half of the year than in the first, and cash costs before by-product credits of $1.55/lb and net cash costs of $1.30/lb


  • The transfer of Los Pelambres’s 40% interest in the Alto Maipo project to AES Gener and the improved pricing of the electricity that will be provided by the project has been completed
  • As announced on 21 March, the ICSID tribunal came to a favourable conclusion rejecting the Government of Pakistan’s final defence against liability in relation to the arbitration claims filed by Tethyan Copper Company. Proceedings have now advanced to the damages phase
  2017 2016 % 2017 2016 %
Copper production(1) (kt) 171.9 157.1 9.4 171.9 205.5 (16.4)
Copper sales(2) (kt) 175.7 154.2 13.9 175.7 206.7 (15.0)
Gold production (koz) 53.3 56.7 (6) 53.3 91.1 (41.5)
Molybdenum production (kt)  2.2 1.7 29.4 2.2 2.0 10.0
Cash costs before by-product credit(3) ($/lb) 1.59 1.72 (7.6) 1.59 1.46 8.9
Net cash cost(3) ($/lb) 1.27 1.37 (7.3) 1.27 1.13 (12.4)


(1) Includes pre-commercial production at Antucoya of 12,700 tonnes, which is not included in the unit cost calculations.
(2) Includes pre-commercial production sales at Antucoya of 11,800 tonnes
(3) Cash cost is a non-GAAP measure used by the mining industry to express the cost of production in US dollars per pound of copper produced

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