27 de enero de 2016 / 7:59 / en 2 años

UPDATE 1-Chile's Antofagasta to boost copper output, lower costs

(Adds details on costs, gold output)

Jan 27 (Reuters) - Chilean mining firm Antofagasta Plc said on Wednesday it expects a boost in copper production this year as it ramps up output at new mines after posting annual output for 2015 which was lower than its guidance.

The London-listed miner produced 630,300 tonnes of copper in 2015, down 10.6 percent and less than its 635,000-tonne target.

The company said it expects production of 710,000-740,000 tonnes in 2016.

“We will benefit from growth at Antucoya and Centinela Concentrates and we will have a full year of production from our share of Zaldívar,” Chief Executive Diego Hernández said in a statement.

Antofagasta last year commissioned the Antucoya copper mine, which is expected to reach its full capacity of 85,000 tonnes per annum in mid-2016.

The company also bought a 50 percent stake in Barrick Gold’s Zaldivar copper mine in Chile last year.

Like its peers, Antofagasta faces low commodity prices as a result of slowing growth in China, the world’s top consumer of industrial metals.

The miner last year was also hurt by declining ore grades, unfavourable weather and environmental protests.

Antofagasta said its cash cost before by-product credits are expected to fall by 9 percent in 2016 to $1.65 per pound as output increases and further savings are achieved.

Antofagasta, which is scheduled to release its annual financial results in March, was targeting savings of about $160 million last year including lower capital spending.

The company expects to produce 245,000-275,000 ounces of gold this year, up from 213,900 ounces in 2015. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by Jason Neely)

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