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Antofagasta said on Wednesday it expects copper production between 670 000 metric tons and 710000 tons in 2024, a forecast analysts said was short of consensus estimates.

Shares opened 1.8% lower at 1369.p, underperforming peers in London.

The Chilean miner said it produced 469 100 t of copper in the first nine months of 2023, 4.1% higher than the same year ago period, on improved water availability its largest mines Los Pelambres and Centinela.

“We expect that the main focus is going to be the 2024 production guidance, which at 5% below expectations is likely going to see material 2024 consensus downgrades,” said Tyler Broda at RBC Capital Markets.

As copper is used in energy transition applications, including solar panels and electric cars, most analysts expect the market to be in deficit from 2027.

The London-listed producer, which operates four copper mines in Chile, expects capital expenditure of $2-billion for this year, up from a previous estimate of $1.9-billion.

It left its 2023 output outlook unchanged at the lower end of 640 000 t to 670 000 t, having in July cut the target on water shortages due to drought in the South American country.

Water is needed in copper smelting, and in the concentrator, which breaks down raw ore and processes it into usable material.

Chile, the world’s biggest copper producer, is facing an ongoing water crisis due to an historic drought that has lasted more than a decade and has impacted mining output.