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Scotiabank: Peru's copper production might grow almost 3% in 2019

11:01 | Lima, May. 14.

Copper production in Peru might increase nearly 3% this year, after a slight fall in 2018, Scotiabank's Department of Economic Studies projected on Tuesday.

"In 2018, the copper output reached 2.44 million tons (down 0.4% from 2017), primarily boosted by Cerro Verde. For 2019, we project copper production will see a rise of almost 3%," Scotiabank's primary sector analyst Katherine Salazar expressed.

"The principal mines that might increase their copper production would be Cerro Verde and Southern Peru. With this in mind, we estimate that national production will amount to 2.5 million tons in 2019, up 3% compared to 2018," she added.

Salazar affirmed Cerro Verde reached a production of 476,000 tons last year, a 1.5% decline over 2017, and for 2019, its parent company, Freeport-McMoRan, estimates that copper sales from its operations in South America will grow nearly 5%, being Cerro Verde its primary mine in the region (84% of the total).

In the case of Southern Peru, the expert indicated that, according to the 2018 Result Report, the increase in copper production (8%) was boosted by increased output at its Toquepala mine.

"The company has informed that Toquepala's annual copper production might increase to 258,000 tons after completion of the expansion project, which required an investment of US$1.32 billion and whose commercial production will be achieved in the second quarter of 2019," she explained.

"We estimate Southern Peru's copper production, including that of Cuajone, will be nearly 400,000 tons in 2019, an increase of 20% compared to 2018," she added.

Las Bambas

Additionally, Salazar said that, according to the 2018 Result Report, Las Bambas produced 385,299 tons in 2018, a 15% drop from a year earlier.

(END) CNA/RMB/MVB

Published: 5/14/2019
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