SHANGHAI, Feb. 11 -- Copper output at Chile's Escondida, world's largest copper mine, was 1.103 million mt in 2009, down 12% from 1.255 million mt in 2008.
The drop was due to falling copper concentrate output from lower ore grades at the mine, Escondida noted in a statement.
In 2009, Escondida produced 775,731 mt of copper concentrate and 327,245 mt of copper cathodes. Concentrate output reduced 22.2% from 2008 levels, while output of cathodes jumped 27.1% YoY.
Escondida posted a net profit of USD 3.57 billion in 2009, down 10.5% YoY, and sales of USD 8.32 billion, down 15% YoY.
According to data from Cochilco, the annual average price of LME copper was USD 3.17/lbs in 2009, flat with level of USD 3.15/lbs in 2008.
Escondida is controlled and operated by BHP Billiton, which holds a 57.5% stake. Rio Tinto has 30%, and Mitsubishi 10%, and the remaining 2.5% is held by International Finance Corp..
(Edited by SMM)