Lower sales and prices generated a 63% drop in Codelco’s profits in 2022

The mining company’s copper production last year was 1.446 million tons and fell 10.7% compared to the previous year


The Chilean state-owned Codelco, the largest copper company in the world, reported this Friday accumulated benefits in 2022 of US$ 2,746 million, which represents a 63% drop compared to the previous year, mainly due to a decrease in the price of copper and a lower sales volume.


Codelco, which is the largest public company in Chile and delivers all its profits to the State, indicated in its results report that its own production was 1,446 million tons between last January and December, which represents a drop of 10.7%. compared to the 1,618 million tons produced in 2021.


According to the company, the decrease in production was due to operational aspects and delays in structural projects that mainly affected its El Teniente, Chuquicamata, Ministro Hales and Radomiro Tomic divisions.


“It has been a complex year in terms of production, costs and surplus generation. At the end of December, we defined an austerity plan for the period 2023-2027 and we asked all vice-presidencies and divisions for cost containment plans and a review of investment and mining development projects,” said its executive president, André Sougarret.


The company also reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBIDTA) of US$5,565 million, while production costs soared to US$1.65 per pound, from US$1.327 per pound for the year. above, which represents an increase of 24.6%.


For this year, Codelco estimates a production of between 1,350 and 1,450 million tons of copper and a price of the red metal between US$3.5 and US$4.40 a pound. “We want to fulfill at the end of the decade the promise of recovering a production of 1.7 million tons, including our participation in El Abra and Anglo American Sur,” Sougarret assured.


Codelco, which accounts for almost 10% of the world’s copper production, is one of the dozens of mining companies that exploit the red metal in Chile, where mining accounts for almost 15% of GDP and where about 6 million are produced tons of copper per year.


Nationalized in 1971 by socialist president Salvador Allende, the firm employs some 62,000 people directly and indirectly and has a portfolio of US$40 billion. EFE