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Antofagasta Plc

Antofagasta plc Report Strong copper production and lower costs

Antofagasta plc (LON: ANTO) CEO, Iván Arriagada said:

“We delivered another quarter of strong production underpinned by a consistent operating performance, which together with higher grades at some of our operations, contributed to year to date copper volumes of 584,200 tonnes which are 16% higher than the same period in 2018.

“Costs continued to decrease over the quarter with net cash costs falling to $1.12/lb and $1.17/lb for the year to date. For the full year we expect to deliver production growth in line with our annual guidance.”

HIGHLIGHTS

PRODUCTION

· Group copper production in Q3 2019 was 197,000 tonnes, 0.8% lower than the previous quarter

· Group copper production for the first nine months of the year was 584,200 tonnes, 15.6% higher than in the same period last year on continued higher throughput and grades

· Gold production for the year to date was 226,600 ounces, 88.7% higher than in the same period last year on higher grades and for the quarter was 77,600 ounces, 10.7% lower than the previous quarter as grades declined at Centinela

· Molybdenum production in the quarter was 2,900 tonnes, some 100 tonnes lower than the previous quarter. For the year to date, production was 9,300 tonnes, 1,000 tonnes lower than in the same period last year on lower grades

CASH COSTS

· Cash costs before by-product credits in Q3 2019 were $1.60/lb and for the first nine months of the year were $1.64/lb, 1.2% lower than in Q2 2019 and 11.4% lower than in the year to date last year. This improvement in unit costs during the year is due to the increased production, costs savings arising from the Cost and Competitiveness Programme and a weaker Chilean Peso

· Net cash costs were $1.12/lb in Q3 2019 and $1.17/lb for the year to date, a 1.8% decrease compared with the previous quarter and 17.6% lower than the same period last year, primarily due to lower cash costs before by-product credits and higher by-product credits

GUIDANCE

· Guidance for 2019 is maintained at 750-790,000 tonnes of copper with costs expected to be below $1.25/lb

· In 2020 production is expected to be to 725-755,000 tonnes of copper as grades decline at Centinela Concentrates before rising again in 2021

OTHER

· Progress on the Los Pelambres expansion project reached 24% as at the end of the quarter and the rate of expenditure is accelerating as expected

· Recent civil unrest in Chile could potentially disrupt the delivery of supplies and the transport of employees and contractors to our operations, with the impact on production expected to be approximately 5,000 tonnes

· Labour negotiations were successfully concluded with the supervisors at Zaldívar during the quarter and with the supervisors at Los Pelambres this month. At Antucoya the workers declared a strike on 15 October and negotiations are continuing

· Labour negotiations with a new supervisors union at Antucoya have recently commenced and are expected to be concluded by the end of the year

GROUP PRODUCTION AND CASH COSTS Year to Date  Q3Q2 
  20192018%20192019%
Copper productionkt584.2505.515.6197198.6-0.8
Copper saleskt578.6499.315.9197.3202.5-2.6
Gold productionkoz226.6120.188.777.686.9-10.7
Molybdenum productionkt9.310.3-9.72.93-3.3
Cash costs before by-product credits (1)$/lb1.641.85-11.41.61.62-1.2
Net cash costs (1)$/lb1.171.42-17.61.121.14-1.8

(1) Cash cost is a non-GAAP measure used by the mining industry to express the cost of production in US dollars per pound of copper produced.