Chile’s production of both copper and lithium jumped in August, even as the country’s manufacturing production dropped 1.5% compared with the same month the previous year, government data showed on Monday.
The drop in manufacturing output was driven primarily by a year-on-year fall in the production of food products, the government statistics agency INE said.
Copper output in world top copper producer Chile rose 11% to 517,902 tons in August compared to the same month the previous year, INE said, while non-metallic mining jumped 18%, driven by an increase in the output of lithium carbonate.
Total mining production increased 5.3% in 12 months, boosted by a low basis for comparison the previous August and improving ore grades this year.
Chile’s mining industry has sputtered thus far in 2019, set back by heavy rains in the north Chilean desert, where many mines are located, and a plummeting global copper price.