Gold production down 11.2% in 2010

Friday, January 28, 2011

Peru's base and precious metal production fell in 2010 with lead and gold output leading the decline, the mines and energy ministry (MEM) reported in a release.

Gold production fell 11.2% last year to 163Mg (5.25Moz) compared to 184Mg in 2009.

The result was due to a decrease at Minera Yanacocha, Latin America's largest gold producer, Minera Arasi, Minera Ares and Barrick Misquichilca, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX).

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December output totaled 12.7Mg, down 9.77% from 14.1Mg in the year-ago month.

Silver production was down 7.27% in 2010 to 3.64Mkg from 3.92Mkg on declines at El Brocal, Ares and Mina Quiruvilca.

Output in December totaled 312,137kg, a 4.24% decrease year-on-year from 325,957kg.

In base metals, lead output declined 13.4% for the year to 261,902t from 302,459t on drops at Minera Antamina, El Brocal, Minera Caudalosa and Quiruvilca.

Production in December was 19,589t, down 21.8% year-on-year from 25,045t.

Zinc production fell 2.8% year-on-year to 1.47Mt from 1.51Mt on decreases at El Brocal, Antamina, Minera Argentum and Quiruvilca.

December's zinc output fell 15.6% to 109,087t.

Copper output decreased 2.28% to 1.25Mt from 1.28Mt on drops at Swiss-based Xstrata's (LSE: XTA) Tintaya, Antamina and US-based Southern Copper (NYSE, BVL: SCCO).

Red metal production in December increased 2.89% to 115,171t from 111,939t.

Tin production at Peru's only producer, Minsur, fell 9.75% last year to 33,848t.

Meanwhile, iron ore output rose 36.8% in 2010 to 6.04Mt from 4.42Mt. Chinese-owned Shougang Hierro Peru is the country's only producer.

Molybdenum production climbed 38.0% to 16,963t, while tungsten output rose 13.1% to 716t.