- Mining company Antofagasta maintained its guidance after reporting a fall in production for the second quarter and first half of the year, owing to lower grades.

Second-quarter Copper production fell 2.5% to 178,400 tonnes year-on-year, mainly because of 'lower recoveries at Centinela Cathodes and expected lower grades at Zaldivar,' the company said.

Net cash costs were $1.13 per pound in Q2 2021 and $1.14 per pound for the first half of the year, a 2.6% decrease compared with the previous quarter but 1.8% higher than in the first half of 2020.

Copper production in the first six months of the year was 361,500 tonnes, in line with expectations and 2.8% lower than in the same period last year mainly because of lower grades, it added.

Gold production for the quarter increased by 3.9% to 61,400 ounces compared with Q1, and for the first six months increased by 8.5% to 120,500 ounces.

Molybdenum production was 2,800 tonnes, 200 tonnes lower than previous quarter. For the year to date, production was 5,800 tonnes, 5.5% higher than in the same period last year.

Looking ahead, full year guidance was unchanged at a range of 730-to-760,000 tonnes of copper at a net cash cost of $1.25/lb.

'Strict water management protocols are in place and various options are being evaluated to mitigate the risk [at Los Pelambres] of the impact of the reduced rainfall, in case this situation continues, the company said.

'Guidance assumes minimum required precipitation levels resume over the balance of the year and is therefore subject to water availability,' it added.

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