SANTIAGO, July 27 (Reuters) - The world's No. 3 copper mine, Chile's Collahuasi, expects its production of the industrial metal to improve in the second half of the year versus the first six months, but its full-year output will likely still be below last year's, a company executive said on Friday.
Output at Collahuasi, which is jointly controlled by Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc, tumbled 10 percent in 2011 from a year earlier. Work stoppages, bad weather and accidents pulled copper output down to about 453,284 tonnes, its lowest production since 2007.
"Regarding what we're expecting for the second half, we're going to have an improvement over the first half ... there's an improvement in ore grades," Xstrata's appointed president for Collahuasi, Roberto Darouiche, told reporters.
When asked if Collahuasi could make up for its shortfall in production to beat last year's output, Darouiche said "given the situation, it's not going to be possible."
Anglo reported earlier on Friday that attributable production at Collahuasi, from its 44 percent stake in the mine, fell 38 percent to 63,900 tonnes during the first six months of the year, due partially lower ore grades.
Total first-half output at Collahuasi therefore likely reached 145,000 tonnes, or less than a third of what the mine produced in 2011.
Two workers accidentally lost their lives at Collahuasi in separate incidents earlier this year, prompting the mine to temporarily suspend some operations.
Collahuasi expects to have ready in the second half of the year an environmental impact study for its expansion plans which seek to double annual production, Darouiche added.
The expansion aims to boost annual output to between 800,000 tonnes and 1,000,000 tonnes.