Chilean copper miner Codelco’s executive president said that while higher copper prices have boosted the company’s earnings, the market remains volatile, calling it a “supercycle”. The company will focus on production growth and operational sustainability. 


The miner said that the El Teniente expansion project could take 12 months longer due to COVID-19 related restrictions. The pandemic has also impacted ramping up production at Chuquicamata’s mining rate to 140,000mt per day. Net sales amounted to near $4mn, up from $1.8mn in Q1 2020.


In Q1 2021, the state-backed group produced 386,000mt of fine copper, up by 6.4pc or 25,000mt from the prior-year period. The company attributed the growth to better grade recovery and continuous operations despite health constraints. 


Codelco noted that despite a lower cost of production, conversion costs for copper cathodes (C3) increased by 21pc to $2.216/lb from $1.829/lb due to fluctuations in the US Dollar rates. 


For the first quarter of 2021, the miner’s EBITDA tripled to $2.37mn compared with the prior-year period while its net profit rose to $1.62mn, up 2.9pc from Q1 2020. 

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