SANTIAGO, May 27 (Reuters) - Chile state miner Codelco increased its copper output by 3.2 percent to 383,280 tonnes in the January-March period from last year as the world's top copper miner crusades to mantain output at aging mines.
The company said on Thursday it produced 371,355 tonnes of copper during the same period the previous year.
The total output did not include output from El Abra, which is a joint venture between Codelco and a private company. With El Abra, output rose to 402,000 tonnes in the period.
Its profits before tax and extraordinary items rose to $1.48 billion in the period, more than 5 times the $275 million registered in the same period last year.
Codelco produced 4,000 tonnes of molybdenum, a metal used to strengthen steel, in the first quarter compared with 5,000 tonnes in the same period a year ago.