Peru's copper, zinc, lead output up in November

Friday, January 5, 2018

Peru's production of half-a-dozen major metals rose in November, while precious metals output declined, according to the government.

Copper output climbed 3.8% to 206,328t from 198,855t a year earlier despite a strike at Southern Copper's operations, the energy and mines ministry (MEM) said in a statement.

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Freeport-McMoRan's Cerro Verde mine produced 462,694t copper through the first 11 months, followed by China Minmetals' Las Bambas (411,281t), Antamina (399,821t), Southern (277,799t), Glencore's Antapaccay (184,727t), Chinalco's Toromocho (173,363t) and Hudbay Minerals' Constancia deposit (108,884t), the ministry said.

Zinc production rose 9.2% in November to 138,402t, while lead was up 5.6% to 27,065t on gains at Antamina and Buenaventura, the ministry said.

Iron ore rebounded 29.3% in the month to 901,253t at Peru's only producer Shougang Hierro Perú after operations resumed following a strike the previous month and the company started up its Shouxin tailings project, according to the ministry. Molybdenum output rose 15.3% to 2,315t, while cadmium production, from Nexa Resources' Cajamarquilla refinery, increased by 11.2% to 80t.

Gold production slid 1.3% to 12,606kg from 12,773kg a year ago, the ministry said. Newmont Mining's Yanacocha produced 15,197kg and Barrick Gold produced 14,433kg through November.

Silver output fell 4% in November to 340,022kg and tin at Peru's only producer Minsur dropped 12.7% to 1,359t, according to the ministry. Silver, generally mined as a by-product, fell as polymetallic miners focused on zinc amidst surging prices, according to the national mining society (SNMPE).

In minor metals, manganese declined 12.2% to 89t, while arsenic fell 3% to 2,177t and bismuth gained 18.3% to 12t, the ministry said.

Minerals account for about 60% of Peru's exports. The country, which is the world's second largest copper and silver producer, third ranked in zinc and tin and No. 5 in gold, aims to boost annual copper output to 3Mt/y by 2021.