Anglo American has admitted that its copper production in the fourth quarter decreased by 4% to 160,700 tonnes. Planned lower grades at Los Bronces were partially offset by strong plant performance at Collahuasi. Production from Los Bronces decreased by 11% to 84,900 tonnes due to planned lower grades (0.70% vs 0.77%) and lower copper recovery (80.5% vs 83.6%).
At Collahuasi, attributable production increased by 11% to 66,000 tonnes driven by higher throughput as a result of strong plant performance in the quarter and the planned maintenance in Q4 2020. Production from El Soldado decreased by 23% to 9,800 tonnes due to lower grades (0.63% vs. 0.84%) in accordance with the mine plan.
2021 sales volumes were 641,100 tonnes at an average realised price of 453c/lb, which is higher than the average LME price of 423c/lb, reflecting the benefit of provisional pricing adjustments throughout the year. At 31 December, 162,361 tonnes of copper were provisionally priced at 442c/lb.
Chile’s central zone continues to face severe drought conditions. While production impacts during 2021 have been mitigated by the successful implementation of water management initiatives, record low levels of precipitation during the year have reduced water availability for Los Bronces in the first half of 2022 and have been factored into production guidance.
COPPER 2022 GUIDANCE Production guidance for 2022 is 680,000-760,000 tonnes, (Chile 560,000-600,000 tonnes; Peru 120,000-160,000 tonnes). Production is subject to the extent of further Covid-19 related disruptions and in Chile, to water availability.