27 May '11, 7pm

UPDATE 1-Codelco copper output up 8 pct on ore grades

* Ore grades, fewer interruptions lift production * Codelco breaks downward output trend seen in top mines * Codelco says profits up 87 pct to $2.315 bln (Adds details, background) SANTIAGO, May 27 (Reuters) - The world's top copper producer, Chile's Codelco [CODEL.UL], said on Friday its output in the first quarter rose 8.1 percent year-on-year due to better ore grades, breaking the downward trend seen by other top copper miners. The state giant, which produces about one tenth of the world's mined copper, has struggled in recent years to sustain output levels as aging mines and dwindling ore grades hit yields. The company has posted an output drop in five of the last six years. Codelco's first quarter output was 414,000 tonnes, up from the 383,280 tonnes in the same quarter in 2010. Codelco faces a potential supply disruption in coming weeks if a protest by thousands of c...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/1-codelco-copper-output-8-pct-or...

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