SANTIAGO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Copper production in Chile was largely flat in 2015 compared to the previous year, figures from state copper commission Cochilco showed on Monday, as production cuts in the face of falling market prices started to bite.
Chile, the world’s largest exporter of the base metal used in construction and wiring, produced 5.76 million tonnes of copper last year, compared to 5.75 million in 2014, according to Cochilco statistics.
At the start of 2015, Cochilco had said production in the year should reach a record 6 million tonnes, but the effects of weather, work stoppages and technical problems were compounded by deliberate output cuts as copper prices hit 6-1/2-year lows.
State-run Codelco produced some 1.89 million tonnes, up from 1.84 million in 2014, boosted by new mine Ministro Hales and its El Teniente project, according to Cochilco.
Output fell 1 percent at BHP Billiton-controlled Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, to 1.15 million tonnes.
Last month, Cochilco forecast that production in Chile would remain steady in 2016, predicting output this year of 5.76 million tonnes.
To see the full Cochilco table, click here (Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)