Return to news listing NEWS RELEASE - 20.02.24

2023 Full Year Results





Antofagasta plc CEO Iván Arriagada said:

“Antofagasta delivered strong performance in 2023 including a 5% increase in EBITDA(1)  and an 11% increase in cash flow from operations. Our cost and competitiveness programme continues to deliver results, generating cost benefits of $135 million during the year, the equivalent of a 9c/lb savings on the Company’s cash cost base. 

“With a strong balance sheet, the Company is well positioned as it enters a new phase of growth. This next growth stage includes continuing the development of the future of Los Pelambres following completion of the Los Pelambres Phase 1 Expansion and initiating the construction of the Centinela Second Concentrator project.  

“Across our operations, we have achieved a record year of safety performance and we have made progress on increasing the number of female employees to 23.6% of our workforce as of the end of 2023. Our efforts to decarbonise our business over the year achieved a number of key milestones, namely the publication of our inaugural Scope 3 emissions estimate and detailed studies that enabled us to publish our updated emissions reduction targets. 

“Copper prices in 2023 showed reduced volatility, with prices displaying a high degree of stability in the second half of the year. Over the medium to long-term, we continue to believe in copper’s fundamental role in the energy transition, helping to decarbonise the global economy.

“The outlook for the Company and its shareholders is positive – we have a solid pipeline of copper growth projects, a strong balance sheet, a focus on costs that will underpin the delivery of those projects and long-standing relationships with local communities. The strength of the business has allowed us to reaffirm our commitment to our dividend policy, and with this in mind, the Board has recommended a final dividend of 24.3 cents, equivalent to a total payout ratio of 50% for the year – reflecting our confidence in the future prospects of our business.”


Financial performance

  • Revenue for the full year was $6,325 million, 8% higher than in 2022 reflecting an increase in sales of both copper and by-products, in addition to higher pricing for copper and by-products.
  • EBITDA(2) was 5% higher at $3,087 million compared with 2022, driven by increases in both sales and pricing, partially offset by a rise in cash costs.
  • EBITDA margin(3) decreased to 48.8% from 50.0% in 2022.
  • Cost and Competitiveness Programme (CCP) generated benefits of $135 million in 2023 (2022: $124 million), comprising $107 million of cost savings and $28 million of productivity improvements. A target for the CCP has been set at $200 million in 2024, which is expected to help the Company to maintain cash costs in line year-on-year.
  • Profit before tax excluding exceptional items increased by 11% to $1,798 million, as a result of increases in both sales and pricing, partially offset by a rise in cash costs.
  • Profit before tax including exceptional items decreased by 23% to $1,966 million, with this year-on-year movement principally related to the recognition in 2022 of an exceptional gain relating to the disposal of the Reko Diq project.
  • Cash flow from operations was $3,027 million, 11% higher than in 2022 primarily as a result of the Company’s higher EBITDA during the year, and a minor positive variance in working capital movements in 2023.
  • Low net debt to EBITDA ratio maintained, with a year-end 2023 figure of 0.38x (2022: 0.30x). Net debt was $1,160 million at the end of the period compared with net debt of $886 million as of 12 months previously.
  • Capital expenditure of $2,129 million(4) in 2023, compared with $1,879 million in 2022, reflecting the Los Pelambres Phase 1 Expansion, construction of which was completed during the year, and mine development work at Centinela.
  • Underlying earnings per share from continuing operations and excluding exceptional items(2) of 72.0 cents, representing a 21% increase year-on-year (2022: 59.7 cents).
  • Earnings per share from continuing operations including exceptional items were 84.7 cents, 46% lower than in 2022, which primarily relates to the recognition in 2022 of an exceptional gain relating to the disposal of the Reko Diq project.
  • A recommended final dividend of 24.3 cents per share, in line with the Company’s dividend policy of distributing at least 35% of earnings. The proposed final dividend is subject to approval by shareholders at the Company’s AGM in May 2024, and if approved, would bring the total dividend for the year to 36.0 cents per share (50% of underlying earnings per share).

Operating performance (as previously announced)

  • The Group continues to prioritise the health and safety of its workforce, achieving a strong performance in safety metrics during 2023, with no fatalities during the year (2022: zero) and the Group’s lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.63 representing a 25% reduction year-on-year. Recent safety highlights within the Group include the completion of more than 39 million hours worked on the Los Pelambres Phase 1 Expansion Project with a LTIFR of less than 1.0, and our Transport Division reducing its incidence rate for lost time injuries by more than 50% in 2023, resulting in a LTIFR of 0.9 (2022: 2.1).
  • Group copper production for the full year was 660,600 tonnes, 2% higher than the previous year, with an increasing contribution from Los Pelambres, as the Phase 1 Expansion Project ramps up.
  • Gold production for the full year 2023 was 209,100 ounces, 18% higher than 2022 due to higher gold grades at Centinela.
  • Molybdenum production for the full year 2023 was 11,000 tonnes, representing a 13% increase year-on-year due to higher throughput rates at Los Pelambres and higher recoveries at Centinela.
  • Cash costs before by-product credits in the full year 2023 were $2.31/lb, 5% higher than the prior year, primarily due to local inflation, appreciation of the Chilean peso and the conclusion of a number of 3-year labour agreements.
  • Net cash costs for the full year 2023 were $1.61/lb, in line with 2022 and ahead of guidance for the year, reflecting a balance of higher underlying cash costs before by-products, alongside higher production and pricing for by-products.

2024 Guidance (as previously announced)

  • Group production in 2024 is expected to be 670-710,000 tonnes of copper. Output of by-products is expected to be 195-215,000 ounces of gold and 11-12,500 tonnes of molybdenum. The expected increase in copper production in 2024 principally reflects the addition of the Los Pelambres Phase 1 Expansion Project in 2023, with increased water availability and ore processing capacity expected in 2024.
  • Group cash costs in 2024 before by-product credits are expected to be $2.25/lb, in line with 2023, with the positive impact of higher production balanced by a short-term reduction in ore grades at Los Pelambres.
  • Group net cash costs in 2024 are expected to be $1.60/lb, with by-product credits expected to remain in line with 2023.
  • In 2024, consolidated Group capital expenditure, which excludes Zaldívar, is expected to be $2.7 billion, with sustaining and mine development expenditure broadly in line with 2023, and as development expenditure commences on the Centinela Second Concentrator and on the other growth projects at Los Pelambres and Centinela. This figure does not reflect any potential reduction in capital expenditure as a result of the process to outsource Centinela’s water supply.

Projects and capital expenditure5

  • Centinela Second Concentrator: The approval of the Centinela Second Concentrator Project was announced in December 2023, which is an investment of $4.4 billion that we expect to add 170,000 tonnes of copper-equivalent production6 to the Company’s portfolio, with a long-term financing package designed to mirror this project’s long-term returns. Critical path works began immediately following the project’s announcement, with full construction (covering 2024-2027) to commence after the execution of definitive project finance documents by the end of Q1 2024.

    If the Company elects to proceed with the outsourcing of Centinela’s water assets, an estimated amount of $600 million in cash will be received for the divestment of the existing water infrastructure, and the project cost will reduce by approximately $400 million, considering that the investment required to expand the existing water system to supply the Second Concentrator will be undertaken by a third party. Further details are provided in the Company’s announcement dated 20 December 2023.
  • Encuentro mine development: The second concentrator will initially source ore from the recently opened Esperanza Sur pit and later from the Encuentro pit. Details relating to the mine development of the Encuentro pit are provided on page 16 of this report. As announced in December, this project requires an additional investment of $1 billion over a period of 3-4 years from 2025 and will further enable Centinela to achieve the development potential of its extensive mineral resource base.
  • Los Pelambres desalination plant increase (800l/s): This project includes the doubling of capacity from the current 400 litres per second (l/s) and a new 62 kilometre section of pipeline between the El Mauro tailings dam and the Los Pelambres processing plant, which was not required for the first phase of the desalination plant but is required for this phase. Expansion of the desalination plant to 800l/s would substantially remove Los Pelambres’ need to extract water from continental sources, and therefore enable the Company to achieve its ambition of 90% of water use coming from seawater or recirculated sources. The estimated capital cost of this project is $1.0 billion, spread over four years. Construction is expected to start in 2024 and to be completed in 2027, with the majority of work expected in 2025-2026.
  • Los Pelambres concentrate pipeline and El Mauro enclosures: As previously disclosed, the Company intends to replace the existing concentrate pipeline and build certain planned enclosures at the El Mauro tailings storage facility. These works will require expenditure of approximately $1.0 billion over the period of 2024-2027.
  • In addition to the aforementioned projects, we expect that capital expenditures on sustaining and mine development activities will be in the range of approximately $1.0-1.5 billion per annum until completion of the Second Concentrator Project.
  • Based on the aforementioned projects, total capital expenditure in 2025 is expected to be in the range of $3.5-3.9 billion, subject to adjustments related to inflation, cost escalation and detailed engineering studies. Capital expenditures in 2026 are expected to decline year-on-year, before decreasing further from 2027 as projects are successfully delivered. The figures provided here are for illustrative purposes, and the Company will continue to formally confirm guidance for annual capital expenditures in its usual manner.


  • Development of a decarbonisation strategy during 2023, and through this work, the Company has been able to publish updated emissions reduction targets – including a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions7 by 2035, which has been set on an absolute basis, and considers the Company’s planned increase in production during this time. The Company has also announced its inaugural Scope 3 emissions target, which is to target a 10% reduction of this category of emissions (projected basis) by 2030. 
  • At Los Pelambres, following construction of the Company’s desalination plant, sea water withdrawals represented approximately one third of total withdrawals in 2023 (2022: zero) as this facility began its ramp up during the year. The Company intends to double capacity of this facility to 800l/s to achieve a level of 90% of water use across the Group from seawater sources or recirculated water. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this project was approved by the authorities in Chile in late 2023.
  • We continue to advance the level of gender diversity in our workforce, with the proportion of women rising to 23.6% in 2023 (2022: 20.4%).

Legislative (as previously announced)

  • In May 2023, the Chilean Senate and the lower house of Congress approved the proposed revision to Chile’s mining royalty bill and Presidential approval was confirmed in August. Further details are provided in the Company’s half-year results for 2023.
  • In December 2023, Chileans voted to reject a proposed constitution and, as a result, the country will now continue with the existing constitution, which has been in place for several decades.

Corporate update

  • In November 2023, the EIA was approved for the project to double the size of the Los Pelambres’ desalination plant to an instantaneous design capacity of 800 litres per second, as well as replacing the concentrate pipeline and the construction of certain planned enclosures at the El Mauro tailings storage facility.
  • The Company announced in December 2023 that it had entered into transactions in the secondary market to acquire beneficial ownership of approximately 19% of the outstanding shares of Compañía de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A. (Buenaventura). Buenaventura is Peru’s largest, publicly traded precious and base metals company and a major holder of mining rights in Peru. This investment is in line with the Company’s strategy of prioritising exploration and investment in the Americas. The Company currently holds 18.2 million shares of Buenaventura, representing the equivalent of approximately 7% of Buenaventura’s issued share capital, and has an agreement in place to acquire up to an additional 30 million shares, representing approximately an additional 12% of Buenaventura’s issued share capital. Further information is provided in Note 3 of the Accounts.
  • In early 2024, the Company received notification that its Declaration of Environmental Impact (DIA) for the application to align the mining and water permits at Zaldívar had been approved.
  • Total mineral resources increased by 345 million tonnes during the year, predominantly related to work conducted at Los Pelambres.
  • The Company continues to progress test work on its patented Cuprochlor-T® technology for the leaching of primary sulphides, which has now achieved recovery rates of more than 70% after 220 days. The Company is now evaluating the feasibility of applying this technology across other mining operations, including for third parties.
  • On 31 January 2024, during regular cleaning activities prior to scheduled maintenance of the concentrate pipeline that connects the processing plant at Los Pelambres to the Company’s port at Los Vilos, concentrate material was detected that was stopping the normal transit of concentrate. This material has now been successfully cleared, with filtering of concentrates at the Company’s port facilities expected to resume in the coming days. Mining and processing operations at Los Pelambres continued to operate unaffected throughout this process, with concentrates being stockpiled at the processing plant in pre-existing stockpile locations, with sufficient storage capacity to maintain operational continuity. As a result of the delay to deliveries to the Company’s port, a portion of the Company’s concentrate filtered production and sales from Q1 2024, estimated to be approximately 20,000 tonnes of payable copper, will be rescheduled throughout the rest of the year. The Company confirms that guidance for 2024 remains unaffected.

1 Alternative performance measures as detailed on page 65 of this Full-year results announcement.
2 Alternative performance measures as detailed on page 65 of this Full-Year Results announcement.
3 Calculated as EBITDA/Revenue. If Associates and JVs revenue is included the EBITDA margin was 46.1% in 2023 and 46.7% in 2022.
4 On a cash basis.
5 All figures 100% basis, including Aplc and minority shareholders. Figures do not include Zaldívar.
6 Production average over an initial 10-year period
7 Scope 1 and 2 emissions on a combined basis, against a baseline year of 2020.

















EBITDA margin(1, 2)





Underlying earnings per share(1) (continuing operations excluding exceptional items)





Profit before tax (including exceptional items)





Earnings per share (continuing operations including exceptional items)





Dividend per share





Cash flow from continuing operations





Capital expenditure(3)





Net debt/(cash) at period end(1)





Average realised copper price





Copper sales





Gold sales





Molybdenum sales





Cash costs before by-product credits(1)





Net cash costs(1)





Table notes: The financial results are unaudited and prepared in accordance with UK-adopted International Accounting Standards, unless otherwise noted below.

(1)       Alternative performance measures as detailed on page 65 of this Full-year results announcement.

(2)       Calculated as EBITDA/Revenue. If Associates and JVs revenue is included the EBITDA margin was 46.1% in 2023 and 46.7% in 2022.

(3)       On a cash basis.

(4)       Figures shown are percentages unless stated otherwise.

(5)       Year-on-year decrease relates to the recognition of Reko Diq proceeds in 2022; see page 10 for more information.


Download Results (PDF)

Download Presentation (PDF)

View Webcast

Full-Year Results Presentation and Call 

A copy of the 2023 full-year results presentation is available for download from the Company’s website (

There will be a presentation and Q&A at 9:00am (UK) today, which will be hosted by Iván Arriagada - Chief Executive Officer, Mauricio Ortiz - Chief Financial Officer and René Aguilar, Vice President - Corporate Affairs and Sustainability. Attendance can be in-person or virtual. Further details can be found here.

Investors – London

Rosario Orchard 

Robert Simmons

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

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