The copper output by Chile rose significantly during the month of January this year. This is when compared with the same month a year ago. According to latest statistics released by the National Statistics Institute (INE), the country’s copper production during the month totaled 524,296 mt. This is 13% higher when compared with the output of 463,321 mt in the same month last year. When compared with Dec ’14, the copper production levels during Jan ’14 held steady.
The country’s industrial production registered a growth of 5.8% during the month, on account of robust 10.1% yearly growth in mining. The mining sector growth was led by 13% rise in copper output during the month.
According to the government, the higher copper output is mainly on account of increased output from a major mine which had operated below capacities in 2014. In addition, a number of processing plants had undergone temporary maintenance shutdowns during January last year, which led to rise in output during January this year. The higher ore grade output at another key mine also contributed to rise in copper production during the month.
The output from large mines was up by 12.2% year-on-year. The medium-sized mines boosted their output by 55.5% during the month. On the other hand, production from small mines continued to struggle, falling by 7.4% over the year.
Rising electricity costs and extreme drought conditions are feared to impact copper production by Chile, which accounts for over one-third of the global copper output.