Output slips among Latin America's top silver miners

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Production by Latin America's top silver miners slipped in Q3.

The region's 10 biggest miners produced 63.0Moz of silver in the quarter, down from 64.3Moz in the same period last year, according to figures compiled by BNamericas.

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The figure is also down from 64.3Moz produced by the top 10 companies in Q2, with the drop largely reflecting the blockade of Tahoe Resources' Escobal mine in Guatemala, which saw the company fall out of the list in Q3.

TOP 10

1. Industrias Peñoles: 16.6Moz

Output increased from 13.8Moz in 3Q16, largely due to a 24% rise in silver production by precious metals subsidiary Fresnillo to 14.6Moz. The increase was driven by the ramp-up of the Mexican group's US$515mn San Julián mine, coupled with a slight rise in production at Saucito.

[GRAFICO:FIGURA:ID_4668_1511894575910]

2. Goldcorp: 7.0Moz

Vancouver-based Goldcorp, one of Latin America's biggest gold producers, saw silver output slip from 7.7Moz.

The bulk of silver production was from the Peñasquito mine (pictured) in Mexico at 5.84Moz, up from 5.24Moz, with Cerro Negro in Argentina contributing 0.84Moz, up from 0.81Moz.

The Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, operated by JV partner Barrick Gold, also produces silver as a by-product.

3. Buenaventura: 6.88Moz

The Peruvian company saw silver output rise from 6.1Moz. A debottlenecking process at four of the company's mines will increase production in Q4, CEO Victor Gobitz told a Q3 earnings call.

4. Pan American Silver: 5.89Moz

Canada's Pan American Silver saw silver output slip from 6.36Moz, due to lower production at its Argentine, Peruvian and Bolivian mines and the closure of Alamo Dorado in Mexico, partly offset by higher production at La Colorada and Dolores in Mexico, where expansion projects are concluding.

5. Hochschild Mining: 5.34Moz

Output increased from 5.0Moz, driven by higher production at its Inmaculada and Pallancata mines in Peru, partly offset by a drop at the San José operation in Argentina.

6. Glencore: 4.89Moz

The commodities giant produced 4.89Moz silver at its Latin American assets, down from 5.06Moz, reflecting lower silver output at its South American zinc assets, partly offset by a rise at the Antamina copper mine in Peru, where Glencore holds a 37.5% interest.

7. Codelco: 4.89Moz

The Chilean state copper miner saw silver output slip from 8.39Moz.

8. Volcan: 4.4Moz

Peru's main zinc-silver producer saw silver production decline from 5.6Moz. Volcan, which has 10 mines in four operating units, expects to produce 18-19Moz of silver in 2017.

9. Southern Copper: 4.2Moz

Southern, the biggest copper producer in Mexico and Peru, saw silver output rise from 4.0Moz. Silver sales from the US-based company's Mexican operations declined, partly offset by an increase at its Peruvian operations.

10. Coeur Mining: 2.87Moz

Silver production at the US-based miner's Palmarejo mine in Mexico increased to 1.91Moz from 933,000oz, due to the ramp-up of underground operations at the Guadalupe and Independencia deposits, while output slipped at San Bartolomé in Bolivia due to drought conditions.

Coeur secured the 10th spot at the expense of Tahoe Resources, which saw silver output fall to zero in the quarter from 4.08Moz in Q2 as a result of the Escobal blockade.