TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese copper miners JX Nippon Mining & Metals and Sumitomo Metal Mining plan to increase output from their mines in Chile this year, but are facing challenges in bringing them to full capacity and meeting profit targets.
JXTG Holdings Inc said on Friday that Caserones copper mine which is 51.5 percent owned by its metal unit JX Nippon Mining is expected to produce about 110,000 tonnes of copper concentrate in the year to end-March 2019, up from 91,000 tonnes a year earlier.
The projected annual output still falls short of the 150,000 tonnes target planned when the company started construction of the mine.
Output at the Caserones mine, located in the arid mountains of northern Chile, has fallen behind schedule since it started producing in May 2014, plagued by a series of technical problems in its ramp-up stage.
JXTG posted 125 billion yen ($1.14 billion) in impairment losses for the mine in the year ended March 31, bringing its total impairment loss on the mine to 273.3 billion yen.