(Updates with planned investments in third paragraph.)
Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Codelco, the world’s biggest copper company, aims to increase sales of the metal by 10 percent in four years, according to estimates released today by the Chilean government’s budget office.
Annual copper sales at the state-owned company may remain at about 1.7 million metric tons this year and next, rising to 1.8 million tons in 2013 and 1.9 million tons in 2014 and 2015, the budget office said in a presentation posted on its website.
Codelco’s Chief Executive Officer Diego Hernandez plans to spend about $20 billion this decade to revamp aging mines. The investments will push production to more than 2 million tons in a decade, according to a presentation on Codelco’s website. Without the investment, output would decline to 800,000 tons.
Codelco and other mining companies in Chile, which supplies a third of the world’s copper, are struggling to raise output this year after strikes and bad weather in the Atacama Desert curtailed operations.
The price of copper has slumped 25 percent since the end of August as Europe’s debt crisis dims prospects for raw-material demand. The metal for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $3.106 a pound at 1:19 p.m. on the Comex in New York.
--With assistance from Matthew Craze in Santiago. Editors: James Attwood, Philip Sanders.
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