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Copper output hampered by Chile unrest, Antofagasta warns

By Lawrence Gash

Copper rebound possible if protests intensify

Copper output hampered by Chile unrest, Antofagasta warns

Antofagasta (ANTO), one of the largest conglomerates in Chile, has warned that its copper output will be reduced by the recent unrest in the country.

Protestors took to the street last week to demonstrate against low wages and a high cost of living. A state of emergency was announced on October 26 with 15 protesters killed thus far.

The London-listed miner employs around 19,000 people in four mines in Chile. It announced that the protests could cut its production by about 5,000 tons, due to supply delays and travel disruptions. Production could be further hampered should an announced general strike go ahead.

Many of the world’s largest miners, including BHP Group (BHPB), Teck Resources (TECK) and Anglo American (AAL) have operations in Chile.

Antofagasta’s stock is yet to suffer because of the Chilean unrest, trading up at £870.60 mid-afternoon. The company undertook a number of cost-cutting measures in recent months to counteract a drop in the price of copper, triggering a number of labour disputes.

Spot copper currently stands at around $5,793.5 per ton, down from its 2019 peak in March of $6,570. Continued unrest and further output disruption in the world’s largest copper producer could see the price gain in the coming weeks.

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