|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: ANTO|
FTSE 100 Component
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Jean-Paul Luksic Fontbona|
(Chairman of the Board)
Iván Arriagada (CEO)
|Revenue||US$4,733.1 million (2018)|
|US$1,367.2 million (2018)|
|US$880.3 million (2018)|
Antofagasta plc is a Chilean business that operates in various sectors of the economy. It is one of the most important conglomerates of Chile with equity participation in Antofagasta Minerals, the railroad from Antofagasta to Bolivia, Twin Metals in Minnesota and other exploration joint ventures in different parts from the world.
The Group began life as Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia, a business that was incorporated and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1888 with the objective of operating a railway between Antofagasta, a port on the Pacific Coast of Northern Chile, and La Paz, the capital City of Bolivia.
During the 1980s, Antofagasta Holdings diversified into other areas such as mining in Michilla, in which it invested in 1983, and mining in the Pelambres, in which it invested in 1986, in addition to telecommunications.
In 1996, Antofagasta Holdings transferred its banking activities and its industrial interests to Quiñenco S.A., another diversified Chilean company also controlled by the Luksic family. This transfer allowed Antofagasta Holdings to concentrate on the development of the Pelambres and the Tesoro mines and establish itself as a low cost copper producer. The shortened name, Antofagasta, was adopted in 1999.
The Los Pelambres mine was first recognized by Willian Burford Braden in 1920. One of the largest copper deposits in the world, production in 2016 was forecasted at 355-365,000 tonnes of copper, 45-55,000 ounces of gold and 8.0-9.0 tonnes of molybdenum.
In 2009, Antofagasta PLC signed an agreement with the Australian company Carbon Energy to develop an underground coal gasification project in Mulpún, in Southern Chile. The project was put on hold in 2013.
In 2015 Antofagasta took control of Twin Metals, a US company involved in a copper and nickel mining project in Northern Minnesota, in the pristine region called the Boundary Waters. Under President Obama, the US Administration declined to renew the leases for the lands on which the mining project is planned. However, the Luksic Group and Antofagasta PLC managed to have this position reversed under the succeeding Administration of President Trump. The mining project is now under a long permitting process, which will probably raise significant environmental issues, as it is located in a wilderness area with many lakes and rivers. The project’s reversal of fortunes has angered environmentalists and focused attention on an unusual connection between a Chilean billionaire and President Trump’s family.
In February 2016 Antofagasta signed an agreement with junior explorer Evrim Resources to earn an interest in the Ball Creek property located in British Columbia. Antofagasta can earn a 70% interest in the project by spending US$31 million over a thirteen-year period. The company sold its Michilla mine, which is in Chile for $52m in 2016.
Antofagasta is one of the major international copper producers with its activities concentrated mainly in Chile where it now operates four copper mines: Los Pelambres, Centinela (previously the Esperanza and Tesoro mines), Antucoya and Zaldivar (50% owned, 50% owned by the Canadian mining company Barrick Gold).