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Antofagasta quarterly copper production jumps on flagship mine expansion

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(Reuters) – Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc <ANTO.L> reported a nearly 22% jump in copper output in the second quarter, helped by an expansion at its flagship Los Pelambres mine in the central part of the country.

The FTSE 100 company reduced its annual forecast for net cash cost, a measure of cost of production per pound of copper produced, to $1.25 per pound as it expects to benefit from a weaker Chilean peso and higher by-product prices.

Antofagasta, which is majority-owned by Chile’s Luksic family, primarily mines copper with by-products of gold, molybdenum and silver.

The company said copper production for the quarter was 198,600 tonnes compared with 163,200 tonnes, a year earlier and maintained its full-year copper production forecast of 750-790,000 tonnes.

Prices of copper have been volatile due to the protracted trade dispute between China, the world’s top copper consumer, and the United States, with the company expecting continued tightness in the copper market and prices to rise this year.

Production at Los Pelambres was 91,200 tonnes of copper in the reported quarter. The expansion project at the mine had started in the beginning of the year.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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