Chile’s state copper company reports higher 2020 profit

Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producing company, on Friday reported 2020 profits of more than $2 billion — 55 percent higher than the previous year despite the coronavirus pandemic.

As a state-owned company, Codelco hands all its revenue over to the treasury. 

The 2020 figures were made possible by higher production and better prices, the company said in a statement.

In spite of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 epidemic, which included shuttering or slowing projects and working with fewer staff, Codelco “managed to surpass the production of the previous year,” its executive president Octavio Araneda said.

Production reached 1.6 billion tons in 2020, up 30,000 tons from 2019.

A rise in the price of the red metal in the second half of 2020 also helped boost income.

This week, copper traded at its highest level in ten years, exceeding $4 per pound on the London Metal Exchange.

Codelco is responsible for nearly 11 percent of the global copper supply, and Chile is the world’s largest producer of the metal.