UPDATE 2-Output rise, lower tax estimate drive miner Antofagasta’s shares higher – by Esha Vaish and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.K. – January 25, 2017)

http://uk.reuters.com/

BENGALURU/LONDON, Jan 25 Chilean copper miner Antofagasta reassured investors with a strong production increase in the final quarter of 2016 and by saying it expected to pay less tax, sending its shares sharply higher.

A 13.8 percent production rise in the fourth quarter helped the London-listed miner reach annual output of 709,400 tonnes of copper in 2016, just short of the 710,000-740,000 tonne guidance it had given at the start of last year.

The company had said in October that full-year copper production would be at the lower end of that guidance. Antofagasta stood by its 2017 copper production target of 685,000-720,000 tonnes.

The production figures and expected lower tax rate briefly sent the shares up 7 percent to a near three-year high. By 1440 GMT, they were trading 3.7 percent higher, while the broader mining sector was down 1.2 percent.

“We struggled to see the company hitting its full-year guidance, so to see full-year production come in only very marginally shy of 710,000 tonnes is promising, in our view,” Bernstein analysts said in a note. Antofagasta said it expected to pay an effective tax rate of about 35 percent for 2016, lower than a previous range of 40-45 percent.

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