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Brazil's top six gold miners produced 482,020oz of the metal in the second quarter of 2017.
Output was up from the 451,865oz that the same companies produced during 2Q16, according to figures compiled by BNamericas.
In total, Brazil produced 83.3t (2.68Moz) of gold in 2015, making it the world's 11th largest producer, according to the latest available data from the country's minerals production department DNPM.
THE TOP SIX IN 2Q17
1. Kinross Gold 138,869oz
(Note: Kinross reports gold equivalent production)
Globally, Kinross attributable gold equivalent output reached 694,874oz in the second quarter, up from 671,267oz in 2Q16.
The company's Paracatu mine in Brazil produced 138,869oz compared with 126,774 in the second quarter of 2016, mainly due to higher recoveries.
"At the beginning of July, the expected temporary curtailment of mining and Plant 2 operations commenced at Paracatu due to the lower than average rainfall in the area. The company's 2017 production guidance took into account the potential curtailment and is not expected to be impacted at this time. The expected production impact has been partly mitigated by the tailings reprocessing initiative, which is expected to increase in the third quarter at Plant 1, while Plant 2 maintenance has been brought forward to coincide with the downtime."
"The production from the tailings reprocessing is expected to be approximately 25,000 - 35,000 gold ounces in the third quarter, with a processing rate of approximately 50,000t/d at Plant 1. The company also continued to implement water mitigation efforts, including an enhanced water pumping system, securing water rights, and installment of wells around the site. Curtailment of mining and Plant 2 operations will continue until the water balance allows for production to resume, which is expected in Q4 when the rainy season begins," Kinross said in a results statement.
In 2017, Kinross expects to produce 2.5-2.7Moz from its operations, which is consistent with the company's average over the past five years.
2. AngloGold Ashanti 130,000oz
At AngloGold Ashanti Mineração (102,000oz) quarterly production rose from 90,000oz in 2Q16.
At Serra Grande (28,000oz) Q2 output declined from 31,000oz.
AngloGold Ashanti Mineração's production increased as a result of higher underground tonnages mined, coupled with improved plant performance at the Córrego do Sítio complex.
Serra Grande was affected by lower recovered grade as a result of a revised production plan, partially offset by higher tonnage treated. The mine also faced cracking at the underground section of the mine which
necessitated a change in the sequencing at the rock face, AngloGold said in its latest financial report.
3. Vale 110,000oz
In the same period last year Vale's gold production reached 109,000oz, contributing to a 2016 record total of 483,000oz.
"The contained volume of gold as a by-product in the nickel and copper concentrates reached 110,000oz in 2Q17, 4.8% higher than in 1Q17 and in line with 2Q16," Vale said in an earnings report.
4. Yamana Gold 59,679oz
Yamana's Chapada mine produced 25,404oz of gold in the quarter, up 47% from 17,299oz in 2Q16, due to higher tonnage of ore processed as the result of SAG mill capacity improvement and higher mechanical availability with the in-pit gyratory crusher operating according to plan.
The company's Jacobina mine produced 34,275oz of gold in Q2, compared to 29,002oz in the second quarter of 2016, Yamana said in an earnings report.
Increased throughput and higher feed grades also contributed to the production increase at Chapada and Jacobina, Yamana added.
5. Beadell 23,703oz
Beadell's Tucano mine produced 23,703oz in the quarter, down 4% on 2Q16.
The Brazil-focused miner said that "production is expected to be significantly higher in the second half of the year as grade increases at depth in the Tap AB pit complex. Beadell remains on budget and on track to achieve annual production guidance of 140,000oz to 150,000oz."
Furthermore, Beadell announced a plant upgrade at Tucano following the completion of a feasibility study. The upgrade project, incorporates the addition of a 6MW ball mill, a high-rate pre-leach thickener, another leach tank and an oxygen sparging system at Tucano.
6. Jaguar 19,769oz
Jaguar's consolidated quarterly gold production decreased to 19,769oz from 24,222oz in 2Q16.
Output from the Turmalina mine decreased to 10,870oz from 15,083oz in 2Q16. Output from the Caeté complex - comprising the Pilar and Roça Grande mines - fell to 8,899oz in the last quarter from 9,139oz in 2Q16.
Jaguar also has the Paciência gold mine complex, which has been on care and maintenance since 2012.
Brazil's position on the gold production cost curve, together with new projects, make it possible to forecast a scenario of rising output, according to Mathias Heider, mineral resources specialist at DNPM.
"I see enormous potential for mid-size gold mining in the northern and midwestern regions of Brazil, generating employment and income and driving local development," Heider told BNamericas recently.
Large and medium-sized gold projects being carried out in the country are expected to add about 15t/y to Brazil's gold output, without taking into account all the other smaller projects or those being initially surveyed, according to Heider.