Gold production increases, copper falls in April

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Peru's gold production increased slightly in April, while output from other key metals saw a sharp decline, the mines and energy ministry (MEM) reported in a release.

Gold production rose 1.64% to 12.6Mg (405,845oz) from 12.4Mg in the year-ago month. The increase was due to higher output from Minera Titán del Perú, Minera Laytaruma and South Africa-based Gold Fields' (NYSE: GFI) subsidiary Gold Fields La Cima.

In the first four months of 2011, yellow metal output declined 10.0% to 51.5Mg from 57.2Mg in the same period last year.

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Silver production plunged 19.2% in April to 255,656kg from 316,335kg on declines at Minera Ares, Minera Casapalca, Minera Antamina and Buenaventura (NYSE: BVN). Silver output fell 7.8% to 1.09Mkg in the January-April period.

In base metals, copper production decreased 12.6% to 88,481t in April from 101,245t due to lower output from Antamina, Doe Run Perú and US-based Southern Copper (NYSE, BVL: SCCO). Production dropped 1.77% to 389,464t in the first four months of 2011.

Lead output declined 19.8% in April to 18,545t from 23,135t due to lower production from Volcan and Minera Raura. Lead production in January-April plunged 23.9% to 69,500t.

Zinc production fell 19.9% for the month to 100,826t from 125,863t on decreases at Casapalca, Antamina and Volcan. Output from January-April was down 10.8% to 433,258t.

Iron ore output from the country's only producer, Shougang Hierro Perú, jumped 32.2% to 576,294t in April and 29.7% to 2.47Mt in the first four months of the year.

Molybdenum production climbed 2.61% to 1,300t in April and 17.5% to 5,565t in January-April.

Tin production plummeted 25.4% to 2,346t in the fourth month and 26.2% to 9,136t in January-April.