Anglo American on Tuesday increased its copper production guidance from its operations in Chile for 2018. File picture: Reuters

JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American on Tuesday increased its copper production guidance from its operations in Chile for 2018 from 630,000 to 660,000 tonnes, as well as the following three years to 2021, but lowered the unit cost guidance for the current and next year as the high demand for copper will constrain the supply.

This as the global diversified mining group will this week host a number of analysts and investors on a visit to Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru to provide a detailed overview of its three world-class copper assets: Los Bronces and Collahuasi in Chile, and Quellaveco in Peru.

Mark Cutifani, chief executive of Anglo American, said this week’s visit will highlight the Tier 1 quality of the group's copper assets and the significant performance improvements that it continues to deliver.

Cutifani said their copper assets and many options for disciplined growth positioned Anglo American well to meet that significant additional global demand for copper.

"We are also progressing a number of low cost copper growth opportunities -- from our Quellaveco mine where construction is under way in Peru, to the development options we have at Los Bronces and Collahuasi in Chile, and our targeted mineral discovery portfolio," Cutifani said.

“We expect the supply of copper to become further constrained in the years and decades ahead as the key ingredient in the fast-growing renewable energy and electric vehicle markets, in addition to the infrastructure, housing and consumer electronics markets that continue to be fuelled by the world’s fast-expanding middle class population."

Anglo American expects to add the first production from its Quellaveco mine in Peru in 2022. Quellaveco will produce 300,000 tonnes of copper equivalent per year, at a highly competitive first quartile cash cost of U.S.$1.05 per pound of copper, both on average over the mine’s first 10 years. 

Anglo American said with a current reserve life of 30 years, Quellaveco provides significant expansion potential which, in combination with other organic growth opportunities, puts it on track towards producing more than one million tonnes of copper per year in the medium term.

- African News Agency (ANA)