Antofagasta Plc FY22 Gold, Copper Output Fall, But In Line With Expectations

Antofagasta Plc (ANFGY.PK,ANTO.L), a Chilean conglomerate, said on Wednesday it has posted a decline in gold and copper production for the fiscal 2022. However, the company noted that a fall in output was in line with its previous projection.

For the full-year, the Group posted its yellow metal production at 176.8 koz, lower than last year's 252.2 koz. A fall in the output was mainly due to expected lower grades at Centinela.

However, for the fourth-quarter, gold out moved up to 56.1 koz from 46.9 koz of previous quarter, as a result of higher throughput and higher grades at Centinela.

Antofagasta's copper production for the full year was at 646.2 kt, compared with 721.5 kt of 2021. A fall in output reflects the temporary reduction in throughput at Los Pelambres as a result of the drought and the reduced concentrate pipeline availability in June, and expected lower grades at Centinela Concentrates.

The base metal output for the final quarter rose to 195.7 kt as against 181.9 kt of the previous quarter. This is mainly due to a higher throughput at Los Pelambres and Centinela Concentrates.

Copper sales for the 12-month period stood at 642.5 kt, lesser than previous year's 725.6 kt. However, fourth-quarter copper sales improved to 201.5 kt from 178 kt of previous quarter.

Full-year Molybdenum production was at 9.7 kt, lesser than 10.5 kt of 2021, reflecting lower throughput and grades at Los Pelambres.

Antofagasta plc CEO, Iván Arriagada said: "In 2022, we produced 646,200 tons of copper at a cash cost of $1.61/lb. With the Los Pelambres desalination and concentrator plants expected to be in production during the second quarter of the year after finishing commissioning, we forecast annual copper production in 2023 will increase to between 670,000 and 710,000 tons with net cash costs of $1.65/lb."

Looking ahead, for the fiscal 2023, the miner still projects copper output of 670 kt to 710 kt.

For the full-year, the company expects gold production of 220 koz to 240 koz of gold with 10, 000 -11,500 tons of molybdenum output.

For 2023, the company also forecast capital expenditure $1.9 billion.

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