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Chilean protests may weigh on Antofagasta's FY'19 copper output

Antofagasta PLC on Oct. 23 flagged lower copper production in 2020, as it expects grades to decline at its Centinela operation in Chile, before rising in 2021.

It guided 2020 output at 725,000 to 755,000 tonnes, compared to its 2019 forecast of 750,000 to 790,000 tonnes. Its 2019 forecast includes a possible loss of about 5,000 tonnes of copper as ongoing protests in Chile may disrupt supply deliveries and workers' transport to its operations.

Third-quarter group copper production rose to 197,000 tonnes, from year-ago output of 188,300 tonnes, while copper sales slightly improved to 197,300 tonnes from 195,500 tonnes. Production was down 0.8% compared to the second quarter.

Gold production increased to 77,600 ounces, from 48,100 ounces in the same quarter a year ago, but was down 10.7% from the second quarter.

Net cash costs for the quarter fell to US$1.12 per pound, from US$1.27/lb in the same period of 2018.