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UPDATE 1-Chile July copper output up 16 pct as ore grades improve
August 29, 2013 / 2:16 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Chile July copper output up 16 pct as ore grades improve

* Low base of comparison, new mines, better ore grades boost
    * Copper output up 6.3 percent in first half of 2013

    SANTIAGO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - World No. 1 copper producer
Chile produced 480,440 tonnes of copper in July, a 16 percent
jump from a year before, boosted by a low base of comparison,
higher output from new mines and better ore grades, the
government said on Thursday. 
    Chile, which produces a third of the world's red metal, is
struggling with dwindling ore grades in many of its aging
deposits, although new mines have helped increase output in
    Esperanza, run by Chile's Antofagasta Minerals, was
inaugurated in 2011. After initial woes, the mine is now on
track, Antofagasta said earlier this week. 
    However, July's copper output inched down 0.4
percent compared with June 2013. The INE national statistics
agency did not provide an explanation for the difference.   
    In the first six months of the year, copper production
increased 6.3 percent to 3.257 million tonnes. The Andean
country produced 5.455 million tonnes last year, a 3 percent
increase compared with 2011 levels.    
    Output of molybdenum, a metal used to harden steel, soared
20.9 percent in July versus the year earlier to 3,201 tonnes. In
the January to July period, production of molybdenum jumped 16.9
percent to 21,186 tonnes.

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