Chile-focused Antofagasta clocks 80% earnings jump

Chile-focused Antofagasta clocks 80% earnings jump

Copper mining firm Antofagasta (LSE:ANTO) is confident that improved market conditions in the metal mining industry will persist into the future, on the back of a close to 80% jump in earnings over 2016.

The Chile-focused miner, one of the oldest listed companies on the London Stock Exchange, posted annual earnings of US$1.63 billion and said that revenue rose 12.3% to $3.62 billion.

Consequently, the firm will pay a final dividend of 15.3 cents a share, for a full-year pay-out of 18.4 cents.

The price of copper has spiked since October 2016, experiencing a rise of 24% in that time, which has led Antofagasta to believe these conditions will continue due to a tightening global supply of the metal.

In a company statement, the firm said: “In the medium term the group expects to see a steady shift from a market in balance to a slight deficit, leading to a further improvement in prices.”

Antofagasta also expect to see a greater demand from China, a huge consumer of copper. Chinese demand is expected to rise by around 3% this year.

The miner also noted that the paucity of new copper projects coming online over the next few years will further contribute to increasingly amiable market conditions.