Return to news listing NEWS RELEASE - 25.07.18

Quarterly Production Report - Q2 2018


Antofagasta plc CEO, Iván Arriagada said: “Our performance in terms of copper production and controlling costs during the quarter has been successful and, as anticipated and previously guided, copper production during this second quarter was higher than in the first quarter while net cash costs were lower.

“Second quarter copper production was 163,200 tonnes and we expect it to continue increasing quarter-on-quarter during the remainder of the year and into 2019 as grades improve, and as 9,200 tonnes of copper in concentrates, stockpiled at the Los Pelambres plant on account of the pipeline blockage in April, is moved to the port.

“We continue our disciplined approach to costs, but we have seen higher input prices and the impact of a stronger Chilean peso coupled with lower grades during the first half of the year. However, with grades and by-product volumes expected to increase in the second half, we expect a reduction in net cash costs.

“We maintain our production guidance for the full year at 705-740,000 tonnes and the net cash cost guidance for the year is also unchanged at $1.35/lb.”



  • As previously announced, production and sales were delayed at Los Pelambres following a blockage in the concentrate pipeline in April/May. As at the end of the quarter there were 9,200 tonnes of copper contained in concentrates stockpiled at the plant which will be pumped down to the port during Q3.
  • Group copper production in Q2 2018 increased by 6.1% compared to the previous quarter as a result of increased sulphide grades and higher throughput at all operations, despite being impacted by the pipeline blockage.
  • Group copper production for the first six months of the year was 317,000 tonnes, 8.5% lower than in the same period last year as a result of lower grades being mined during the period.
  • Gold production during the quarter increased by 22.9% to 39,700 ounces compared to the previous quarter, but for the first six months decreased by 35.8% to 72,000 ounces due to lower grades at Centinela.
  • Molybdenum production in the quarter was 2,800 tonnes and for the year to date was 31.1% higher than in the same period last year, principally due to higher grades and recoveries.


  • Cash costs before by-product credits in Q2 2018 were $1.85/lb, 7.5% lower than in Q1 2018. The decrease is mainly related to increased production at Centinela and a weaker Chilean Peso.
  • Cash costs before by-product credits for the first six months were $1.92/lb, 23.1% higher than last year mainly due to lower production, a stronger local currency and increased input costs.
  • Net cash costs were $1.50/lb in Q2 2018, a 2.6% decrease compared with the previous quarter, primarily due to lower cash costs before by-product credits, partially offset by lower by-product credits.
  • Net cash costs for the first six months were $1.52/lb, 22.6% higher than in the same period last year on higher cash costs before by-product credits, partially offset by higher by-products credits.


  • Copper production for 2018 is expected to be between 705,000 and 740,000 tonnes, unchanged from the beginning of the year, with higher production expected during the second half of the year.
  • Cost guidance for the full year is unchanged with net cash costs of $1.35/lb, assuming the exchange rate remains at current levels.


  • On 30 May, Zaldívar submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment to extend the company’s water extraction permit from current sources beyond 2025 in line with its existing life of mine.
  • On 13 July, Centinela announced the sale of its electricity transmission lines for $117 million.


      2018 2017 % 2018 2018 %
Copper production kt 317.0 346.3 (8.5) 163.2 153.8 6.1
Copper sales kt 303.9 334.1 (9.0) 167.1 136.8 22.1
Gold production koz 72.0 112.2 (35.8) 39.7 32.3 22.9
Molybdenum production kt 5.9 4.5 31.1 2.8 3.1 (9.7)
Cash costs before by-product credits (1) $/lb 1.92 1.56 23.1 1.85 2.00 (7.5)
Net cash costs (1) $/lb 1.52 1.24 22.6 1.50 1.54 (2.6)

(1) 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.

Investors – London
Andrew Lindsay 
Telephone +44 20 7808 0983
Andres Vergara
Telephone +44 20 7808 0988

Media – London
Carole Cable
Telephone +44 20 7404 5959
Will Medvei
Telephone +44 20 7404 5959

Investors – Santiago 
Francisco Veloso
Telephone +56 2 2798 7000 

Media – Santiago 
Pablo Orozco
Carolina Pica
Telephone +56 2 2798 7000

Download PDF (707KB)