Chilean mining company Antofagasta's copper production fell 2.8 per cent to 361500 tonnes in the first half of 2021 and its full-year production guidance remains unchanged, but warned that production could be affected by a lack of rainfall in some areas.
Los Pelambres in Chile's Cojimbo region, 240km northeast of Santiago, has been affected by one of the worst droughts in the country in the past 12 years.
In central Chile alone, where most people live and where major copper mines are located, rainfall has fallen by nearly 30 per cent over the past 20 years.
The company said in its quarterly report that it had developed strict water management agreements and was evaluating options to mitigate the risk of reduced rainfall and prevent the situation from continuing.
Antofagasta also noted that major maintenance work for, Los Pelambres, originally scheduled for the second quarter, has been postponed to the fourth quarter.
The San Diego-based company produced 178400 tons of copper in the three months to June, down from 183000 tons in the first quarter. It attributes the decline to the lower recovery of the Centinela ore and the expected lower grade of Zaldivar.
However, the miner kept its full-year copper production guidance unchanged at 730000-760000 tonnes, with a net cash cost of $1.25 per pound and capital expenditure of $1.6 billion.