UPDATE 1-Japan's JX cuts FY16/17 copper output at Caserones mine by 27 pct
* Caserones April-June output comes to just 17,000 T
* JX sees FY16/17 copper output at Caserones at 100,000 T
* JX's first-quarter net profit dips 53 pct on commodity slump (Adds quotes and details)
By Yuka Obayashi
TOKYO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Japan's JX Holdings Inc lowered its copper output target at its Caserones mine in Chile by 27 percent to 100,000 tonnes for the year through March 2017 due to heavy snow in June and a lack of skilled workers, it said on Thursday.
The mine's ramp-up has been repeatedly delayed, weighing on profits of the mine's owners, including JX and Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. But the delay is expected to have little impact on global prices in a market awash with supply.
JX in May had set the aim to more than double Caserones' output to 137,000 tonnes in this financial year, but it now expects to miss the target, Executive Officer Katsuyuki Ota told a news conference on the company's first-quarter earnings.
Caserones produced just 17,000 tonnes in copper concentrate over April-June as snow forced it to halt operations for eight days in June, Ota said.
"The utilisation rate went down in June due to heavy snow, but we expect a rate of around 80 percent in August and September," he said, adding that the company aims to achieve full utilisation rates by March. The target for the mine's annual output capacity at full production is 150,000 tonnes. Continuación...