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Antofagasta shares rise on Centinela water-supply deal

By Benjamin Chiou

Date: Thursday 06 Jun 2024

(Sharecast News) - Shares in copper miner Antofagasta were rising on Thursday after the company announced the completion of a water-supply agreement at its Centinela project in Chile.
The miner reported late on Wednesday that it had wrapped up an agreement with Transelec and Almar Water Solutions to transfer over Centinela's existing water transportation assets and rights in exchange for $600m.

The partners will undertake the planned expansion of the water transportation system, resulting in a reduction in the overall capital cost of Centinela's Second Concentrator Project by $380 over the project's construction period.

The Second Concentrator Project at Antofagasta's flagship mine is expected to add 170,000 tonnes of annual copper-equivalent production, comprising 144,000 tonnes of copper production and associated gold and molybdenum by-products, with first copper predicted in 2027.

Antofagasta said Transelec and Almar have a track record of building and operating infrastructure in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, including existing projects in Chile.

"Following today's news and the recently announced Centinela Second Concentrator Financing, we are in a good position to advance our growth ambitions in producing responsible copper for the global energy transition at a time when the global supply of copper has a limited ability to meet the expected medium-term rise in demand," said Antofagasta's chief executive Iván Arriagada.

The stock was up nearly 1% at 2,171p by 1214 BST, trimming earlier gains which had sent it to a high of 2,222p (+3.3% on Wednesday's close).

"Mining is a risky industry and anything a company can do to lower the risks is a positive for investors," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell. "Ensuring a smooth supply of water is important, particularly when a mine is in a remote or difficult to access location."

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