Return to news listing NEWS RELEASE - 20.07.22

Quarterly Production Report - Q2 2022


Antofagasta plc CEO, Iván Arriagada said: “In the first half of 2022 we produced 268,600 tonnes of copper at a net cash cost of $1.82/lb.  Reduced production levels and higher costs compared to last year reflect the expected impact of the drought and the temporary closure of the concentrate pipeline at Los Pelambres in June, as well as lower grades at Centinela Concentrates.

“Looking to the second half of the year, we expect production to increase quarter-on-quarter as throughput recovers at Los Pelambres with increased water availability, grades improve at Centinela Concentrates and as the copper in concentrates, stockpiled at Los Pelambres’ concentrator plant, is moved to the port.

“The significant decline in the copper price since the beginning of June has reinforced our commitment to control costs, particularly during this period of higher input prices and general inflation.

“Following the pipeline incident at Los Pelambres, and the continued uncertainty about water availability, full year copper production is now expected to be 640–660,000 tonnes. The impact of this and the high current levels of inflation are partially offset by the weakening of the Chilean peso and we now estimate full year net cash cost guidance at $1.65/lb.”



  • Group copper production(1) in Q2 2022 was 129,800 tonnes, a decrease of 6.5% compared to the previous quarter, mainly due to the previously announced concentrate pipeline incident at Los Pelambres which reduced reported production during the period by approximately 23,000 tonnes. Operation of the pipeline resumed by the end of the period and 12,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates stockpiled at the concentrator plant will be moved to the port by October
  • Group copper production(1) in the first six months of the year was 268,600 tonnes, 25.7% lower than in the same period last year mainly due to the expected temporary reduction in throughput at Los Pelambres as a result of the drought and the concentrate pipeline incident, and expected lower grades at Centinela Concentrates. Throughput at Los Pelambres was 36.2% lower than in H1 2021, and the grades at Centinela Concentrates were 25.4% lower
  • Gold production for the quarter decreased by 7.8% to 35,400 ounces compared with Q1 mainly due to the concentrate pipeline incident, and for the first six months decreased by 38.8% to 73,800 ounces mainly due to expected lower grades at Centinela
  • Molybdenum production was 2,000 tonnes, the same as the previous quarter. For the year to date, production was 4,000 tonnes, 31.0% lower than in the same period last year due to lower throughput and grades at Los Pelambres


  • Cash costs before by-product credits in the quarter were $2.40/lb, 6c/lb higher than in the first quarter and for the first half of the year were $2.37/lb, 37.0% higher than in the same period last year mainly due to the temporary decrease in production and higher input prices, particularly for diesel and sulphuric acid. General inflation was largely offset by the weaker Chilean peso
  • Net cash costs were $1.90/lb in Q2 2022 and $1.82/lb for the first half of the year, compared to $1.75/lb in the previous quarter and $1.14/lb in the first half of 2021, reflecting the increase in cash costs before by-product credits and slightly lower by-product credits due to lower by-product production, partially offset by higher realised prices


  • The Los Pelambres Expansion project was 82% complete as at the end of the quarter
  • Completion of the desalination plant is expected in Q4 2022 and of the concentrator plant expansion in early 2023


  • Full year copper production for the Group is revised downwards to 640–660,000 tonnes. This revision mainly reflects the impact of the pipeline incident and the continued uncertainty arising from the water shortage at Los Pelambres
  • The drought has continued at Los Pelambres during the period although there has been heavier precipitation in July. The revised guidance range incorporates a low probability negative outlook for water availability for the rest of the year. Strict water management protocols remain in place to optimise water usage and mitigate the impact of low water availability
  • With increases in diesel and other input prices, net cash cost guidance is increased to $1.65/lb, assuming market consensus estimates of by-product prices and the Chilean Peso exchange rate are achieved for the rest of the year
  • As announced in April, Group capital expenditure for the year is expected to be $1.9 billion


  • From April this year all mining operations have been operating solely using renewable energy significantly reducing the Company’s Scope 2 emissions


  • As previously announced, there was a leak in the concentrate pipeline at Los Pelambres on 31 May. This has been repaired and operation of the pipeline resumed on 26 June. A full assessment of the incident found no material or irreversible environmental impact and the pipeline was approved for reopening by the relevant local regulator (Sernageomin). A review is underway to ensure enhanced safety conditions are incorporated into pipeline operations ahead of the replacement of the pipeline which is currently being permitted and is expected to be completed in 2025. Engagement with members of the local communities concerned about the safety of the pipeline by the Company together with the local authorities were concluded successfully
  • Copper concentrates stockpiled at the concentrate plant will be transferred to the port by October using the spare capacity of the pipeline. It is estimated that the full impact of the disruption will be a loss of approximately 15,000 tonnes of production over the full year
  • The Constitutional Convention completed the draft of the new constitution on 4 July. A national referendum to accept or reject the new constitution will be held on 4 September
  • The government presented a tax reform bill to Congress on 1 July and a new proposal for the mining royalty on 11 July. This proposal is being evaluated by the mining industry. The initial view is that it is more onerous than the proposal made by the Senate Mining and Energy Committee in January, but less onerous than the original proposal made by the lower house in May 2021. The new draft will now be discussed and approved by the Senate before being passed to the lower house for its consideration
  • On 11 July the Company released a special report on its tax payments in respect of 2021. The report provides detailed information about the nature of the taxes paid by the Company and the amounts paid, and can be found on the Antofagasta website
Copper production kt 268.6 361.5 (25.7) 129.8 138.8 (6.5)
Copper sales kt 263.0 346.1 (24.0) 147.1 115.9 26.9
Gold production koz 73.8 120.5 (38.8) 35.4 38.4 (7.8)
Molybdenum production kt 4.0 5.8 (31.0) 2.0 2.0 0.0
Cash costs before by-product credits (1) $/lb 2.37 1.73 37.0 2.40 2.34 2.36
Net cash costs (1) $/lb 1.82 1.14 59.6 1.90 1.75 8.6

(1) Copper production for copper in concentrates is defined as tonnes of filtered concentrate at the port of export
(2) 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 

Rosario Orchard 

Telephone +44 20 7808 0988   

Media – London

Carole Cable

Telephone +44 20 7404 5959

Media – Santiago

Pablo Orozco 

Carolina Pica

Telephone +56 2 2798 7000

Register on our website to receive our email alerts:

Download the Operating Tables in Excel Format

Download PDF (346KB)