Gold output by LatAm's top miners on the decline

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Gold production by Latin America's top miners edged lower in Q2, impacted by asset sales and a temporary suspension.

The five biggest producers in the region generated 1.35Moz of gold, down from 1.39Moz in the same quarter of 2016, according to data compiled by BNamericas. The companies produced 1.63Moz in 2Q15.

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But the downward trend masks significantly higher output compared with 2Q16 by three of the companies, a mix of Canadian, Mexican and South Africa-based miners.

In H1, output by the five totaled 2.76Moz, a notch short of half the 5.63Moz output forecast for the year, based on company guidance and one BNamericas estimate.

TOP 5

1. Goldcorp, 394,000oz

The Canada-based miner regained the number one slot with Latin American production rising from 334,000oz.

[GRAFICO:FIGURA:ID_4666_1503411628719]

The bulk of the rise was at Peñasquito in Mexico, with output up to 123,000oz from 36,000oz on higher grades and throughput.

Cerro Negro in Argentina delivered 112,000oz, up from 86,000oz, with the company's 40% stake in Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, controlled by 60% JV partner Barrick Gold, up to 115,000oz from 100,000oz.

The remaining 44,000oz of Latin American gold production was from the "other mines" category, including Marlin in Guatemala, which is being closed, and Goldcorp's stake in Alumbrera in Argentina, as well as output from the Los Filos mine in Mexico prior to its sale on April 7.

The other mines contributed 112,000oz in 2Q16.

2. Barrick Gold, 333,000oz

Toronto-based Barrick was the region's biggest gold miner in 2Q16, but output slipped from 393,000oz due to reduced production from Lagunas Norte in Peru, at 90,000oz, down from 124,000oz, and Veladero in Argentina (pictured), to 72,000oz from 119,000oz, partly reflecting the temporary suspension of operations following a spill.

Barrick's majority stake in Pueblo Viejo contributed 171,000oz, up from 150,000oz.

3. Industrias Peñoles, 231,287oz

Mexico's top precious metals miner rose one place to third in the ranking, with output up from 226,561oz.

The improvement reflects higher production by subsidiary Fresnillo of 223,479oz, up from 217,645oz, due to a contribution of 20,912oz from the new San Julián mine, partly offset by lower output at the Herradura, Noche Buena and Ciénega gold mines.

4. AngloGold Ashanti, 202,000oz

The South African miner saw output rise by 10,000oz, mainly due to higher production at AngloGold Ashanti Mineração in Brazil of 102,000oz, up from 90,000oz.

Output was broadly flat at Cerro Vanguardia in Argentina at 71,000oz (2Q16: 70,000oz), and declined at Serra Grande in Brazil to 28,000oz from 32,000oz.

5. Yamana Gold, 192,928oz

Canada's Yamana slipped two places as Latin American production fell from 240,584oz, largely due to the sale of the Mercedes mine in Mexico in October 2016.

The company has mines in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Canada.