CORRECTED-Antofagasta says protests, ruling cast doubt over Pelambres future
(Removes first-half from paragraph 3 to clarify reporting period is annual)
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Chilean copper producer Antofagasta said on Tuesday that protests and an adverse court ruling cast uncertainty over its key Los Pelambres mine as it posted a 17.8 percent fall in core earnings.
The company, majority-owned by Chile's Luksic family, is grappling with weaker copper prices as well as protests and a court rulings against the environmental impact of its Los Pelambres operation in Chile.
The miner said annual core profit, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), came in at $2.22 billion, roughly in line with a company-provided consensus forecast of $2.24 billion.
Last week, the company reached a deal with protesters who had been blocking access to its Los Pelambres mine, blaming it for water shortages.
Antofagasta said the mine risked being closed after it was also hit last week by a court ruling in favour of the protesters. (Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by David Clarke)
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