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Chile’s Codelco lowers 2022 copper production outlook

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SANTIAGO — Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, cut its production outlook for 2022, blaming lower recovery levels at some of its mines and ore grades at the Chuquicamata site in Chile, as it also deals with fatal accidents halting some construction works.

The Chilean state-owned miner said it now expects output to reach between 1.49 million and 1.51 million tonnes this year, down from a previous forecast of 1.61 million tonnes.

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The guidance cut was disclosed in a letter to Chile’s regulator late on Thursday, in which Codelco mentioned the redesign it was forced to implement at its Division Ministro Hales mine after a landslide late last year, lowering recovery levels at the site.

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It also said geomechanical reasons and material handling system issues affected the century-old Chuquicamata mine.

“All efforts will continue to be made so we can achieve the highest possible level of production by the end of the year,” interim chief executive Andre Sougarret said.

Codelco has also faced fatal incidents recently.

In mid-July, the company stopped all the works in charge of its Vice Presidency of Projects after the death of an operator in the Rajo Inca expansion and later another at its Chuqui Subterranea project, an expansion of Chuquicamata.

In June, the firm’s chairman Maximo Pacheco had told Reuters the annual production goal would be maintained at 1.7 million tonnes while he was in charge, including for this year.

(Reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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