Anglo American cuts annual copper forecast on Chile water woes

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Anglo American is seen on a jacket of an employee at the Los Bronces copper mine, in the outskirts of Santiago, Chile March 14, 2019 Picture Taken March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

(Reuters) - Miner Anglo American Plc AAL.L on Tuesday forecast lower full-year copper production, as it grapples with a water shortage in Chile, while raising the annual iron-ore production outlook for its Minas-Rio mine in Brazil.

As the world’s largest copper producer, Chile has been caught in the middle of the U.S.-China trade war, while those woes have been compounded by the country’s worst drought in 60 years.

Anglo reported an 8% drop in output of the red metal in the quarter as its Los Bronces mine in Chile struggled with water shortage, prompting it to tighten its annual copper forecast to 630,000-650,000 tonnes.

Minas-Rio, one of the company’s biggest growth projects that was suspended last year, is expected to produce 20-22 million tonnes of iron ore in 2019, up from previous expectations of 19-21 million tonnes, the company said.

The company, which also mines diamonds, platinum and nickel, said overall output in the reported quarter rose 4%, helped in part by a production ramp up at the Brazil mine.

“We expect to deliver to our production guidance for copper and thermal coal, albeit at the lower end of their ranges,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani said.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta