Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) noticed profit surge to its highest ever last year on hovering copper and molybdenum costs, permitting it to pay the most important dividend within the Chilean miner’s 134-year historical past.
The corporate, which has all its operations in its dwelling nation, mentioned earnings earlier than curiosity, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) elevated about 80% to US$4.8 billion within the 12 months to December 2021 on revenues of US$7.4 billion, up 46%.
The outcomes will let Antofagasta, majority-owned by Chile’s Luksic household, one of many nation’s wealthiest, pay a last dividend of 118.9 US cents per share. The determine takes the full annual return to shareholders to 142.5 US cents per share, or US$1.4 billion.
The bumper payout comes as a particular meeting in Chile has begun debating motions for a new Constitution to interchange a market-focused one relationship again to the dictatorship of Basic Augusto Pinochet.
Politicians on the world’s high copper-producing nation are additionally fine-tuning a new mining royalty bill, which can increase tariffs on corporations primarily based on product sales and profitability.
Antofagasta, which has been very vocal in regards to the detrimental results increased royalties may have on Chile’s financial system, appeared extra constructive on the potential final result.
Commenting on the topic, the corporate mentioned the Senate had already revealed a plan that was “much less onerous than the unique proposal made by the decrease home”. It additionally famous there have been nonetheless “a number of additional legislative steps” required earlier than a last invoice may very well be accredited.
Antofagasta mentioned its capital expenditure climbed 36% to US$1.77 billion in 2021 because of the enlargement of its flagship mines Los Pelambres and Centinela and inflation.
This 12 months, it expects capex to rise by US$1.7 billion-US$1.9 billion on enlargement prices and water shortages, which has already pressured it to chop manufacturing steering.
It additionally booked a US$178 million impairment cost after its proposed copper and nickel mine Twin Metals in Minnesota was blocked by the U.S. Division of the Inside’s January decision to cancel two mineral leases on home conservation considerations.
The corporate mentioned final month output this 12 months will likely be beneath 2021 ranges, as operations proceed to be impacted by the house nation’s longest drought in many years.
[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]
The Santiago-based miner, which already noticed 2021 copper manufacturing drop by 1.7% to 721,500 tonnes, anticipates churning out between 660,000 to 690,000 tonnes of the metallic this 12 months.
Costs for the purple metallic, which is utilized in the whole lot from building to electrical autos and wind generators, has greater than doubled from its pandemic lows of early 2020, climbing 26% in 2021 alone. It’s now buying and selling near US$10,000 a tonne.