Base, precious metals output down in February

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Peruvian gold production fell 16.6% in February to 12.5Mg (401,578oz) from 15.0Mg in the same month last year, the mines and energy ministry (MEM) reported in a release.

The result was due to lower production at Barrick Misquichilca (-51%), Minera Yanacocha (-29%) and Minera Ares (-20%). Local miner Buenaventura (NYSE: BVN) saw a 21% increase in yellow metal output

Silver production dropped 3.13% to 265,908kg from 274,512kg in the year-ago month on decreases at Minera Corona (-20%), Minera Antamina (-16%), Ares (-14%) and Southern Copper (NYSE, BVL: SCCO) (-12%).

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Copper output decreased 3.86% in February to 90,397t from 94,029t on declines at Gold Field La Cima (-19%), SCC (-16%) and Xstrata's (LSE: XTA) Tintaya mine (-14%).

Peru also saw a decrease in zinc and lead production. Zinc output totaled 105,280t, down 11.7% year-on-year from 119,284t as a result of lower production at Corona, Minera Raura and Antamina.

Lead output fell 24.6% to 16,463t from 21,818t. Production declined at Corona, Volcan and Minera Santa Luisa.

Iron ore output at the country's only producer, Shougang Hierro Perú, jumped 19.8% to 533,460t.

Molybdenum production rose 35.1% and tungsten climbed 9.99%, while tin output fell 29.8%.