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20 Jan 2021 | 08:33

Antofagasta sees solid 2021 after strong final quarter

(Sharecast News) - Antofagasta said it expected a solid performance in 2021 as the miner reported a strong final quarter that supported annual production in line with guidance. Annual copper production fell 4.7% to 733,900 tonnes in the six months to the end of December. Copper production rose 13.6% to 192,600 tonnes in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter as throughput increased at all operations.

Full-year gold production fell 28% to 204,100 ounces from a year earlier but was above guidance after production jumped 43% to 54,700 ounces from the previous quarter.

Net cash costs for the year fell 6.6% to $1.14 per, below guidance, as cash costs before byproduct credits dropped.

The FTSE 100 company forecast copper production of 730-760 tonnes for 2021 and 240-260,000 ounces of gold. Cash costs are expected to be $1.65 per lb before by-product credits and $1.25 per lb after the credits. Capital spending will be $1.6bn as spending on growth projects increases after $200m of 2020 spending was deferred.

Chief Executive Iván Arriagada said: "Despite a challenging year that was placed on the world by COVID-19, the resilience and flexibility of our operations has meant that we have finished the year strongly, achieving full year production guidance and lower cash costs than in 2019. We expect another solid performance in 2021."

Antofagasta shares were little changed at £15.10.50 at 09:02 GMT.
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