The facts

Two of Fresnillo's six Mexican mines were responsible for two-thirds of gross profits in 2016.

BNamericas takes a tour of the company's biggest money-spinning operations, as judged by a range of metrics.


The Herradura gold mine made the biggest contribution to Fresnillo's profits in 2016.

The Sonora state mine generated 35.7% of US$882mn gross profits. The percentage is unchanged from 2015, when gross profits were US$433mn.

The Saucito primary silver mine in Zacatecas state was second, at 31.1%, slipping from 42.8% in 2015.


The remaining four operations delivered a combined 33.1%, including 18.3% from the Fresnillo mine.


Contributions to adjusted revenue are similar, with Herradura responsible for 32%, followed by Saucito's 26% and 19% from Fresnillo.

The remaining 23% was split between Noche Buena (11%), Ciénega (9%) and San Julián (3%).


Mine margins, calculated by the difference between cash costs and realized prices of the main metal produced, cast the mines in a different order.

Ciénega came out top in 2016, with a 117% margin, based on US$1,246/oz companywide realized gold prices and cash costs of negative US$217/oz, followed by Saucito, at 102%, based on cash costs of negative US$0.39/oz silver and realized prices of US$17.23/oz.

Fresnillo was third at 87.8%, with cash costs of US$2.09/oz silver, and Herradura fourth at 62.2%, with cash costs of US$471/oz gold.

The ageing Noche Buena mine had the lowest margin at 38.6%, with cash costs of US$766/oz gold. Cash cost figures were not available for San Julián, where phase 2 development is scheduled to conclude in Q2.


Saucito was the lowest cost primary silver mine, as measured by all-in sustaining costs (AISCs), at US$4.77/oz, down from US$7.11/oz in 2015.

This compares to US$7.82/oz at Fresnillo, down from US$11.48/oz.

Among the gold mines, Ciénega was the lowest cost producer, at US$428/oz, down from US$710/oz, followed by Herradura at US$732/oz, down from US$888/oz.

Noche Buena was the highest AISC gold mine at US$823/oz, down from US$1,015/oz.

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