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Codelco swings to Q1 profit of US$534M, exceeding FY'16 earnings

Chilean state-miner Codelco posted a first-quarter pretax profit of US$534 million, swinging from a loss of US$151 million in the first quarter and surpassing its full-year 2016 profit of US$435 million, Reuters reported May 26.

The company attributed the increase to an appreciating copper price, which increased by 18% since October, and its sustained drive to cap expenditure.

However, copper production for the first quarter declined 11% year over year to 416,000 tonnes, covering Codelco's wholly owned mines and its stakes in other projects, due to diminishing ore grades in aging mines.

Meanwhile, cash costs increased from 6% a year ago to US$1.34 per pound of copper.