SANTIAGO – Chilean copper miner Antofagasta plc on Tuesday reported a profit of $610 million during 2014, down 7.5 percent from the previous year.
“Revenue at $5.29 billion was 11.4 percent lower than in 2013 as copper prices fell by 8.5 percent during the year accompanied by a small decline in sales volumes,” according to a statement from the unit of Grupo Luksic, Chile’s largest conglomerate.
Copper output was 704,800 tons, off 2.3 percent compared with the all-time high set in 2013, Antofagasta said.
“We have consolidated what we achieved in 2013 when we had a record production,” Antofagasta plc CEO Diego Hernandez said. “We keep our focus on cost control and productivity amid a challenging economic environment and falling commodity prices.”
Direct production costs increased 2.2 percent to $1.83 per pound of copper “primarily due to one-off signing bonuses paid following the conclusion of labor contract negotiations at all of the Group’s mining operations and which will be in effect for up to four years, but which according to applicable accounting policies are expensed when paid,” the statement said.
“This was partially offset by a weaker peso and lower input costs,” Antofagasta added.
Hernandez said the copper has experience a shortfall of 8,000 tons of copper production due to protests at the Los Pelambres mine by area residents demanding the company restore a waterway to its original course.