Antofagasta at a glance

Antofagasta plc is a Chile-based copper mining group with significant by-product production and interests in transportation. The Group creates value for its stakeholders through the discovery, development and operation of copper mines. The Group is committed to generating value in a safe and sustainable way throughout the commodity cycle.

Key Facts

  • Listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1888 
  • Constituent of the FTSE 100 
  • 65% of ordinary share capital controlled by Luksic family of Chile with 35% free float

Mining 

Mining is the Group’s core business, representing over 90% of Group revenue and EBITDA. The Group operates four copper mines located in Chile, two of which also produce significant by-products. The Group has a significant portfolio of growth opportunities located predominantly in Chile and in the United States.

60% owned

The Group’s flagship mine is in central Chile, generating over 57% of overall production and approximately 65% of EBITDA. It produces copper concentrates containing gold and silver and a separate molybdenum concentrate.

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70% owned

The Group’s second largest operation is located in a world-class mining district. Centinela produces copper concentrates containing gold and silver, and copper cathodes.

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99.9% owned

Antofagasta Minerals ended mining operations at Michilla from 31 December 2015. Antofagasta, after exploring various alternatives, has confirmed that large-scale copper production at Michilla is no longer economically viable. The company notes that mineral resources still exist at the property. 

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70% owned

The Group’s newest mine, which achieved first production in September 2015. Antucoya is expected to produce 85,000 tonnes per annum of copper cathode.

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50% owned

The Group acquired a 50% interest and assumed operatorship of Zaldívar in December 2015. Zaldívar is an operating mine in northern Chile producing copper cathodes.

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The transport division provides rail and road cargo services in northern Chile. The main business during 2015 was the transport of copper cathodes, and increasingly concentrate and sulphuric acid, to and from mines in the Antofagasta Region.

 

Under Construction

During 2015, work continued on optimising Centinela’s concentrator plant to bring the level of throughput to the original design capacity of 97,000 tonnes per day and later to 105,000 tonnes per day.

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The Group expects to complete the construction of the Encuentro Oxides project during 2017, which will provide feed to the Centinela SX-EW plant allowing it to operate near its peak capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum.

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Growth Projects 

The pre-feasibility study for this $2.7 billion project was completed at the end of 2015 and the preparation of the feasibility study is now underway. The EIA was submitted in 2015, with the outcome expected during 2016. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by the middle of 2017 and will include pilot testing of a hydraulic roll crushing system which is being considered in preference to conventional SAG and ball mills.

A decision to proceed with the project will only be made if it is supported by the market outlook at the time. If approval is granted in 2017, production would be expected to begin in 2020.

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During the year, the Group revised the approach to the incremental expansion of Los Pelambres and decided to split the project into two phases to ease the development of the project and conserve development capital in light of lower commodity prices. This two-phase strategy was approved by the Board during the year and the feasibility study is now underway.

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Given the size of the resource, which at 6.1 billion tonnes is more than three times the quantity of processed ore expected under the existing mine plan, there is significant scope to increase the plant capacity beyond the 205,000 tonnes per day planned for Phase 2 of the incremental expansion project. Such an expansion will require extensive engineering works and permitting as well as the support of local communities and currently no significant evaluation work is planned.

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Growth beyond the core business

Twin Metals

During 2015, the Group has been undertaking evaluation and optimisation exercises on the pre-feasibility study that was completed in 2014 and has also progressed with geotechnical studies and hydrological fieldwork required to support future environmental reviews and permitting.

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The Group has an active early-stage exploration programme beyond the existing core locations of the Centinela and Los Pelambres mining districts. This is conducted through its in-house exploration team and through partnerships with third parties to build a portfolio of longer-term opportunities across Chile and the rest of the world.

More on Chile exploration
More on international exploration