Antofagasta 2016 profits surge, expects copper prices to rise

Chilean copper miner Antofagasta on Tuesday reported a surge in full-year earnings on lower costs and better prices, saying it expected commodity prices to improve further this year.

Its 2016 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped 78.7 percent to $1.63 billion, the company said in a statement.

Antofagasta raised its annual dividend to 18.4 cents from its 2015 payout of 3.1 cents and topped the company's minimum payout of 35 percent of underlying net earnings per share.

"In the medium term the Group expects to see a steady shift from a market in balance to a slight deficit, leading to a further improvement in prices," it said.

"There are wild cards of course, but these are more likely to be positive for the copper price than negative."