LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - Chilean copper miner Antofagasta will continue cash payouts to investors of at least 35 percent of earnings this year despite an expected weak copper price, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
"We will maintain our stated dividend policy (in 2016), which is to pay a minimum of 35 percent of full year earnings," CEO Diego Hernández told a conference call.
The company said on Tuesday it had cancelled its final dividend since its interim dividend already met the 35-percent target.
Hernández also said he did not expect the current upturn in copper prices to last since it was based on speculators pushing prices up instead of an improvement in supply-demand fundamentals.
"We do not expect to see a sustained price recovery until late 2017," he added. (Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Mark Potter)