SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Chile's state-run copper giant Codelco says its profit for the first half of the year plunged 28 percent from the same period of 2012 due to lower prices for the red metal.
The world's largest copper company said Friday it earned $1.8 billion before taxes in the January-June period.
Codelco's output fell by 1 percent in the same period to 758,000 metric tons due to dwindling ore grades.
Codelco has been hit by increasing fuel and energy costs and is pressed to dig new deposits amid falling ore grades.
Chile's government let Codelco retain $1 billion of its 2012 profit to help fund a $27 billion investment program aimed at boosting production. But Codelco is in a tight spot because it hoped to get more for its ambitious program.
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