Antofagasta PLC on Wednesday said that it expects both its net cash costs and production to rise in 2023, and reported that production for 2022 was in line with its guidance.
The London-listed copper miner
forecast net cash costs of $1.65 a pound for 2023. This would be up from $1.61 a pound in 2022, reflecting the expectation that by-product credits will decrease to match an expected fall in gold and molybdenum prices.
In addition, Antofagasta reaffirmed production guidance of 670,000 metric tons to 710,000 metric tons of copper for 2023 reflecting the completion of works at Los Pelambres and partially offset by lower grades at Centinela Cathodes, and anticipated capital expenditure of $1.9 billion. It further forecast the production of 220,000 ounces to 240,000 ounces of gold, and 10,000 tons to 11,500 tons of molybdenum, reflecting higher grades and discoveries expected at Centinela Concentrates.
“The recent strength in the copper market is a positive start to the year, reflecting not just the relaxation of Covid restrictions in China and its expected stronger growth, but also the fundamental long-term importance of copper and the need for increased supply,” Chief Executive Ivan Arriagada said.
The FTSE 100 company also reported that copper production fell 10% in 2022, to 646,200 tons. This was in line with its previous guidance of reaching the lower range of 640,000-660,000 tons.
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