In H1 2020, and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Codelco produced 744 thousand tons of copper, 4.7% more than in the same period of 2019, and generated surpluses by USD 380 million, a figure that is almost 20% higher than in the first six months of last year.
The initial measures taken by the state company to protect the health of its workers allowed maintaining operational continuity. Along with this, the greater treatment in the plants and the better ore grade, explain the 34 thousand tons increase in production compared to last year.
Direct cost, C1, fell 9% to 129.9 cents a pound (c / lb), down 12.4 cents from 142.3 c / lb last year. This figure is clarified by the greater operational continuity of our smelters, which improved the state’s product portfolio; the largest production; the increase in the sale of by-products, such as molybdenum; and, the positive effect of a higher dollar.
The net cost to cathode, C3, meanwhile, had a significant decrease of 17% compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching 207.7 c / lb, which is explained by the same reasons of direct cost, which are add to the lower non-operating expenses. In addition, last year’s C3 costs include the effects of collective bargaining for the period.
EBITDA, the cash operating generation, reached US $ 1,881 million, 18% higher than the same period of the previous year, with a margin of 36%.
Codelco ‘s main development projects have not been affected by their projected start-up dates, despite the temporary stoppage that occurred in some contracts to minimize the risk of contagion on site.