Chilean copper production rises in first half of 2015 versus year ago
SANTIAGO Aug 10 (Reuters) - Copper production in Chile rose slightly in the first six months of 2015 compared to a year ago, with substantial growth at some large projects countered by scheduled maintenance and disruptive protests at others, the government said on Monday.
Chile produced 2.9 million tonnes of copper through June, an increase of 2.6 percent from the same period last year, the state-run statistics agency Cochilco said.
World no.1 copper producer, state-run Codelco, reported a 3.8 percent rise in its production to 910,000 tonnes in the first six months of 2015, according to Cochilco.
Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, which is owned by Anglo-Australian giant BHP Billiton Ltd recorded output up 15.4 percent to 691,100 tonnes.
In contrast, Collahuasi - a joint project of Anglo American , Glencore Plc, and several Japanese firms - saw production fall 10 percent to 216,600 tonnes after a key processing mill underwent scheduled maintenance in February.
Production at Los Pelambres, the flagship mine of Antofagasta Minerals Plc, fell 13.8 percent to 175,300 tonnes, Cochilco said. The complex has been affected by water shortages and local protesters who have blocked mine access.
Last month, Antofagasta cut its forecast for 2014 due to delays in the construction of its upcoming Antucoya project.
Cochilco has estimated that Chile will produce 5.9 million tonnes of copper in 2015. (Reporting by Fabian Camero; Writing by Gram Slattery, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Bernard Orr)
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