Images from this SNL Metals & Mining white paper.
Companies in the leadFor 2014, Antofagasta had the largest nonferrous exploration budget globally. While that includes some work focused on feasibility work and late-stage exploration, make no mistake — the company is also putting forward a "strong grassroots effort" in Europe, Africa, Australia and the Americas. To be sure, a strong exploration effort is likely necessary for the company as falling grades and higher costs continue to cut into its production and profits. As an October 29 article from Reuters notes, the company recorded reduced third-quarter output compared to Q3 2013 due to production stoppages at some of its operations and harder (more difficult to process) ore at its Los Pelambres operations.