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Posts Tagged ‘Antofagasta’

Antofagasta Raises Dividend

August 24, 2011 Comments off

“Chilean miner Antofagasta PLC on Tuesday doubled its interim dividend after reporting a 54% rise in first-half net profit due to higher average commodity prices and volumes. Chief Executive Marcelo Awad said the miner remains well positioned to deal with commodity-price volatility and relatively strong cost pressures given its low average net-cost position. …

Antofagasta expects global copper output to fall 500,000 tons short of demand this year and forecasts prices to average more than $4.20 a pound in the second half. This compares with $4 a pound in mid-August and a record average $4.26 a pound for a calendar half-year in the first half. Antofagasta reported an 84% rise in first-half earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, to $1.95 billion. Net profit rose 54% from a year earlier to $696.2 million, while the declared interim dividend rose to $0.08 a share from $0.04 a share in the same period a year ago.”

Source: Wall Street Journal, August 23 2011

Observations:

  • Antofagasta mainly operates in Chile. The key growth project is the ‘Esperanza’ project close to the operating ‘El Tesoro’ mine. Exploration in Peru, USA, Australia and Pakistan signals the ambition to expand internationally.
  • The company is controlled by the Luksic family, which holds approx. 65% of the shares.

Implications:

  • Antofagasta appears not to be affected by the strikes that stopped production in other mines in the region, signalling a good relationship of the management with the unions.
  • The payout ratio of 11% of profits is above expectations, but below the 35% benchmark the company adheres to. The management is either hoarding cash for a significant investment or is planning to announce a special dividend at the end of the year. Last year a special dividend of 100% was turned out at year end.

©2011 | Wilfred Visser | thebusinessofmining.com

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Antofagasta on track for rapid growth

March 9, 2011 Comments off

“Chile’s Luksic family is due to receive more than $700m (£433m) this year after surging copper prices pushed Antofagasta, the mining company controlled by the family, to declare a special dividend of 100 cents.

A fivefold rise in the pay-out for 2010 offered proof of the copper market’s financial impact on the mining industry. Freeport-McMoRan, the US copper miner, also declared a 100 cents special dividend for 2010 to clear excess cash. London-listed Antofagasta ended last year in a net cash position of $1.3bn after profits nearly doubled.

The completion of a new mine and mine-expansion project allowed it to increase its production volumes at the time that sales prices for the industrial metal were ascending to this year’s highs of about $10,000 a tonne.”

Source: Financial Times, March 9 2011

Observations:

  • The strong results published by the Antofagasta are the result of a 46% price increase and an 18% production volume increase. Production for 2011 is expected to be over 30% higher. Cash unit costs increased 8%, in line with increasing costs shown by other companies.
  • LME Cash Seller Copper Price (March 2010 - March 2011)

  • In relation to the other big copper mining event of the moment: Lundin and Inmet have delayed their special shareholders meeting to vote on the proposed merger to form Symterra to March 28th to give Lundin time to study the takeover offer announced by Equinox. Equinox has not yet submitted a detailed offer.

Implications:

  • No problems have surfaced around negotiations with unions on new salary arrangements. Apparently the high copper price has helped the company to satisfy the unions demands, reducing the risk of strikes.
  • Antofagasta is increasingly looking beyond Chile’s borders for expansion: USA, Sweden, Pakistan, and Australia are mentioned in the exploration pipeline. Although all current production is in chile and the Sierra Gorda, Antocuya and Los Pelambres areas in Chile still hold potential, the company will not be able to sustain growth rates it requires to keep up with Codelco, Freeport, and the diversified miners without expanding abroad. This expansion will require significant managerial and organizational change.

©2011 | Wilfred Visser | thebusinessofmining.com

Chile miners’ strike turns cost of copper red hot

November 11, 2010 Comments off

“A strike at one of the world’s biggest copper mines in Chile is threatening to send prices of the metal, widely used in industry, to an all-time high. …

That combative stance could set the tone for a new season of collective bargaining in the industry, where bosses and unions at Radomiro Tomic and El Teniente, which belong to state-owned Codelco, and Los Pelambres, controlled by Antofagasta, are due to begin talks in the coming months.”

Source: Financial Times, November 9 2010

Observations:

  • The miners from the 21 mining unions organized in the mining federation produce 70% of the country’s copper, which is approx. 35% of the global copper output.
  • Chilean mining unions have shifted their primary focus from improving working conditions, triggered by the world-famous rescue operation of trapped miners, back to negotiating salary & benefit packages.

Implications:

  • Codelco is largely state-controlled and will thus be pressured to find common ground with the unions quickly. Antofagasta plc, a public company owned for 65% by the Luksic family, will have a harder time meeting the requests for salary increases in its Los Pelambres and Michilla mines to reflect increase in commodity prices.
  • Spillover effects of strikes from one company to another are unlikely, limiting the power of the mining federation. However, the risk of Codelco workers in various mines striking at the same time is enough to make copper consumers nervous.

©2010 | Wilfred Visser | thebusinessofmining.com