Los Pelambres is a sulphide deposit in Chile’s Coquimbo Region, 240 km north of Santiago. It produces copper concentrate (containing gold and silver) and molybdenum concentrate through a milling and flotation process.

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Operating performance

Production at Los Pelambres increased in 2023 as a result of increased water availability following the completion of construction of the Company’s desalination plant during the year, and subsequent ramp up.

EBITDA was $1,725 million, compared with $1,473 million in 2022, reflecting higher production and sales volumes, and higher realised prices for copper and by-products.


Copper production for 2023 was 300,300 tonnes, 9% higher than the prior year. This increase was driven by increased throughput rates in 2023, which resulted from increasing availability of water from the Company’s desalination plant as it successfully progresses its ramp up, and additional ore processing capacity provided by the fourth concentrator line. Molybdenum production in 2023 was 8,100 tonnes, representing a 13% increase year-on-year, which was the result of higher throughput rates. Gold production in 2023 rose by 0.5%,
reflecting a balance of lower gold grades and higher ore processing rates.

Cash costs

For the full year, cash costs before by-product credits were $1.92/lb, 4% higher than in 2022. The key drivers behind this increase in 2023 are appreciation of the Chilean peso, local inflation, and the conclusion of 3-year labour agreements, partially offset by higher production and lower input costs.

Net cash costs were $1.14/lb for the full year, 4% higher than in 2022, reflecting a similar increase in the underlying cash costs and higher production and pricing for molybdenum.

Capital expenditure

Capital expenditure was $897 million, including $193 million of mine development, $361 million of sustaining capital expenditure and $344 million of development capital expenditure.

The forecast production for 2024 is 335–350,000 tonnes of copper, 8,5–9,500 tonnes of molybdenum and 45–55,000 ounces of gold. Higher production is expected due to higher throughput, with increased water availability and ore processing capacity with the Los Pelambres Phase 1 Expansion ramping up.

Cash costs before by-product credits are forecast to be approximately $2.05/lb and net cash costs $1.35/lb, reflecting higher production, offset by lower expected grades.