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SANTIAGO, July 18 (Reuters) - Production at Collahuasi, one of the world’s largest copper mines, will be slightly higher in 2014 than last year, the company’s chief executive Jorge Gomez said on Friday.
The Chilean mine produced 444,509 tonnes of refined copper in 2013, up from 282,100 tonnes in 2012, when it was recovering from a string of labor, accident and weather-related problems.
“We think that (this year) we are going to be slightly above what we produced in 2013,” Gomez said to journalists after a presentation of the mine’s annual sustainability report.
Inferior ore grades compared to 2013 would hold back a stronger rise in production, he added.
Chile, which produces a third of the world’s copper, is struggling with dwindling ore grades in many of its aging deposits, although new mines and recoveries in troubled ones are pushing up overall output.
Collahuasi, a partnership between Glencore Xstrata and Anglo American Plc, says it has about 9.8 billion tonnes of mineral resources with an average ore grade of 0.81 percent. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero, Writing by Rosalba O‘Brien; Editing by Bernard Orr)