Shares in Antofagasta were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after the mining company reported a rise in revenue and net earnings in the full year ended 31 December 2010.
Group revenue increased 54.5 per cent to a record $4.6 billion, while net earnings rose 57.5 per cent to $1.1 billion.
Despite the rise in earnings the mining group said that net cash at the end of the year fell 15.7 per cent to $1.3 billion.
The group said that it would be raising its total dividend for the year 395.7 per cent to 116.00 pence per share.
Copper production during the year increased 17.8 per cent to 521,100 tonnes. The average price of copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 46 per cent to 342.00 cents per pound.
Production of molybdenum increased 12.8 per cent to 8,800 tonnes while the market price of molybdenum rose 41.4 per cent to $15.7 per pound.
Marcelo Awad, Chief Executive Officer of Antofagasta, commented, "2010 was a landmark year for the Group, with the commencement of the commissioning of the Esperanza mine and completion of the Los Pelambres plant expansion. Commissioning of the Esperanza plant commenced in November 2010, with the first shipment of copper concentrate taking place in January 2011. The ramp-up of the Esperanza plant will continue through the first half of 2011, with the current expectation that full processing capacity should be achieved during the second quarter of 2011. In 2010 Los Pelambres increased production by 23% to 384,600 tonnes of copper as a result of the completion of the plant expansion during the first quarter of 2010, and production is expected to increase further in 2011 with a full year of production at the increased capacity. As previously announced, the initial forecast is for Group copper production to increase to approximately 715,000 tonnes in 2011, a 60% increase on the pre-expansion 2009 levels, although final production levels will depend on a number of factors including the precise timing of the completion of the ramp-up at Esperanza.
"Market fundamentals remain positive and while the high level of volatility that has characterised commodity prices in recent years is expected to continue, consensus estimates are for copper prices to remain favourable in 2011. Supply constraints and underlying demand could keep the copper market in deficit in the medium term."
By 09:40 shares in Antofagasta were down 0.14 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 1,418.00 pence per share.