Antofagasta shares rally as it commits to ‘responsible mining’ Copper Mark

FTSE 100 listed mining blue chip, Antofagasta (LON:ANTO), watched its shares rally during Monday morning trading, as the company announced that two of its projects would be committed to the Copper Mark.

The Centinela and Zaldívar projects will now be assessed versus the Copper Mark’s assurance framework, which the company says is designed to demonstrate the industry’s responsible production practices, and contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It adds that:

“The Copper Mark goes beyond compliance and focuses on the continuous improvement of responsible production.”

To be granted the Copper Mark, the Antofagasta operations will have to comply with 32 criteria within two years of having stated their commitment to abiding by the framework. These criteria, the company says, ‘relate to issues important to all stakeholders’, including greenhouse gas emissions, safety and health, tailings management, biodiversity, business integrity, gender equality and human rights.

If the company are granted the Copper Mark, its status will be reviewed via an independent assessment of its compliance every three years.

Speaking on the announcement, company CEO, Iván Arriagada,  said: “We are starting this important process at Centinela and Zaldívar and will then extend it to the rest of our Mining operations. Application for the Copper Mark is a voluntary process that allows an external independent entity to review our sustainability practices and indicate our level of compliance and whether there are any aspects we must improve.”

René Aguilar, Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability added: “This external independent review will help us to continue improving our responsible mining practices. We are working towards becoming leaders of sustainability in our industry and the Copper Mark is a further and important step forward in this journey.”

Following the news, Antofagasta shares rallied by around 3%, to 1,160.00p. This is the company’s year-to-date high, but also more than 20% above analysts’ target price of 917.69p a share.

Analysts currently have a consensus ‘Hold’ stance on the stock; a p/e ratio of 34.22; and a 71.91% “underperform” rating from the Marketbeat community.

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Jamie Gordon
Senior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Also a contributing writer at the Investment Observer, UK Property Journal and UK Startup Magazine. Postgraduate of King's College London with a specialisation in Business Ethics. Interested in Development Economics and David Hume.