Chile’s Codelco, the world's top copper producer, reaped the benefit of climbing prices for the red metal last year even as production costs rose, and is ready to post a profit of $2.88 billion for 2017, the company’s chairman has revealed.

Speaking to investors and students at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Chile, Oscar Landerretche said Thursday the preliminary results are the best ones achieved by the company since 2014, local paper La Tercera reported (in Spanish).

The state-owned copper miner saw costs rise 7.8% the past year as it has been upgrading its aging mines and dealing with dwindling ore grades to remain a major global player. The ambitious investment plan, originally pegged at $25 billion, is now sitting at about $18bn.

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