UPDATE 1-Antofagasta output falls in third quarter on production stoppages
* Q3 output down 5 pct from previous quarter
* Says on track for full-year output of 700,000 tonnes
* Q3 costs slightly lower (Adds analyst comments, details, background, shares)
By Silvia Antonioli
LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Chilean copper miner Antofagasta posted a 5 percent fall in third-quarter output from the previous three months, mainly due to production stoppages at its Los Pelambres and Centinela operations.
The London-listed miner, which like others in the copper sector is battling sluggish prices, falling ore grades and rising costs, managed to reduce its costs slightly in the quarter, though, thanks to a lower energy bill at Los Pelambres.
Chief Executive Diego Hernandez said in an interview last week the company would aim to maintain average production costs flat or lower next year.
The miner, controlled by Chile's Luksic family, produced 169,200 tonnes of copper in the third quarter, down from 178,800 in the previous three-month period.
The fall was mainly due to a suspension of mining activities following a fatal accident at its Los Pelambres mine and a maintenance shutdown at its Centinela plant. Continuación...