Quarterly Production Report - Q2 2019
STRONG COPPER PRODUCTION AND LOWER COSTS
Antofagasta plc CEO, Iván Arriagada said:
“Copper production was strong during the quarter and together with our rigorous control of costs this has reduced our unit costs.
“Second quarter copper production stood at 198,600 tonnes, 5.3% higher than the previous quarter and, as expected, grades increased, particularly at Centinela Concentrates.
“Our disciplined approach to costs, coupled with higher copper production, a weaker Chilean peso and higher by-product credits allowed us to achieve net cash costs of $1.14/lb, an 8.1% reduction from the previous quarter.
“Our priorities for the year remain our safety performance, and sustaining the strong momentum on operational reliability and efficiency, while also progressing the Los Pelambres expansion project.
“We maintain our production guidance for the full year at 750-790,000 tonnes and net cash cost guidance for the year is now expected to be $1.25/lb, 5c/lb less than guided at the beginning of the year.”
- Group copper production in Q2 2019 was 198,600 tonnes, 5.3% higher than the previous quarter as a result of higher production at all of our operations
- Group copper production for the first six months of the year was 387,300 tonnes, 22.2% higher than in the same period last year because of higher throughput and grades at most of the operations
- Gold production during the quarter increased by 39.7% to 86,900 ounces compared to the previous quarter, and for the first six months increased by 107.1% to 149,100 ounces due to higher grades at Centinela
- Molybdenum production in the quarter was 3,000 tonnes, some 500 tonnes lower than the previous quarter. For the year to date, production was 6,400 tonnes, 8.5% higher than in the same period last year
- Cash costs before by-product credits in Q2 2019 were $1.62/lb and for the first half of the year were $1.66/lb, 4.7% lower than in Q1 2019 and 13.5% lower than in H1 last year. This improvement in costs is explained by gains arising from our productivity programme, which continues to deliver savings since it was introduced in 2015, the favourable impact of increased production and a weaker Chilean Peso
- Net cash costs were $1.14/lb in Q2 2019and for the first half of the year were $1.19/lb, an 8.1% decrease compared with the previous quarter and 21.7% lower than in the first half of 2018, primarily due to lower cash costs before by-product credits and higher by-product credits
- Copper production for 2019 is expected to be between 750,000 and 790,000 tonnes, unchanged from the beginning of the year. Following strong cost performance in H1, cost guidance for the full year is reduced from $1.30/lb guided at the beginning of the year to $1.25/lb, assuming by-product prices and the Chilean Peso exchange rate remain at similar levels to the first half of the year.
- Construction of the Los Pelambres expansion project has started on-site and as at the end of June 2019, the project progress to completion was 22%
- Labour negotiations with the supervisors at Zaldívar and Los Pelambres, and the workers at Antucoya are expected to be concluded in H2 2019