UPDATE 2-Chile's Antofagasta warns tough year ahead as profit falls short
* Antofagasta says to keep 35 pct payout policy
* Full year EBITDA slides 58 pct, worst than expected
* Shares tumble 10 pct, underperforms mining index (Adds conference call, analyst comment, shares)
By Eric Onstad
LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - Chilean copper miner Antofagasta warned of another tough year ahead as it posted a worse-than-forecast fall in profit, dragging its shares down nearly 10 percent.
"This has been a challenging year for both the wider industry and Antofagasta and 2016 also looks like it will be difficult," Chief Executive Diego Hernández said on Tuesday.
"However, I believe we are now well positioned to weather the current copper market," he added on a results call.
Higher output from new mines and lower costs would allow Antofagasta to continue its policy of paying shareholders at least 35 percent of earnings, Hernández said.
As expected, Antofagasta's board confirmed that no final dividend would be paid for 2015 since the interim dividend of 3.1 cents had met its 35-percent payout target. Continuación...