Fresnillo silver output rises

By
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fresnillo's silver output surged 24.1% as a result of the ramp up of the San Julián mine.

The Mexican miner produced 14.6Moz silver in Q3, including from streaming agreements, up from 11.8Moz in the same quarter last year, and up a notch from 14.5Moz in Q2.

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The US$515mn San Julián mine contributed 3.50Moz, up from 484,000oz in 3Q16 and 1.59Moz in Q2.

Output was lifted by the start of commercial production of the Phase 2 flotation plant, which reached its 6,000t/d nameplate capacity during the quarter, Fresnillo said.

This was coupled with the ramp up of operations at the Phase 1 leaching plant, which began commercial production in July 2016.

The Saucito mine (pictured) produced 5.02Moz silver, up from 4.90Moz in 3Q16, with output falling at the Fresnillo mine to 3.52Moz from 3.73Moz due to lower grades.

The Ciénega mine produced 1.33Moz silver, up from 1.32Moz, while silver from streaming agreements fell to 1.08Moz from 1.17Moz.

GOLD

Latin America's biggest silver miner also produced 233,311oz gold, up from 219,840oz in 3Q16.

San Julián contributed 23,460oz, up from 7,032oz, with output at Herradura up 6.9% at 131,738oz, due to increased use of gold inventories at the leaching pads and higher volumes of ore processed, partly offset by lower grades.

Ciénega produced 17,395oz gold, down from 18,372oz due to lower grades, with Noche Buena contributing 33,409oz, down from 40,850oz, on lower grades and volume of ore processed.

The company also produced 12,472t lead (3Q16: 12,473t), and 17,688t zinc, up from 14,476t.

Fresnillo confirmed previous production guidance for 2017 of 58-61Moz silver and 870-900,000oz gold.

The company's US$155mn pyrites plant project, which will process tailings from the Saucito and Fresnillo mines, and a US$110mn second dynamic leaching plant at Herradura, are on track for commissioning in 2018.