August 22, 2017 / 6:57 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Antofagasta's first-half profits surge on rising copper price

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JOHANNESBURG, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Chilean miner Antofagasta raised its dividend as a rally in the copper price lifted its first-half earnings, the company said on Tuesday, allowing it to reiterate its annual target.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 88 percent to $1.1 billion for the six months to June 30, the miner said in a statement.

Copper on the London Metal Exchange rallied to its highest in almost three years on Monday and is up nearly 20 percent this year on expectations of tighter supply.

Antofagasta, majority-owned by Chile’s Luksic family, raised its dividend for the period to 10.3 cents, up from 3.1 cents paid out in the prior year.

Copper production rose 7 percent to 346,300 tonnes in the first half on higher output at its Centinela and Antucoya mines. Net cash costs fell 1.6 percent to $1.24 per pound.

For the full year, the copper output target was maintained at between 685-720,000 tonnes, while costs and spending were also unchanged.

Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Edmund Blair and Louise Heavens

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