Mining - Mexico

Mexico: top five silver miners up Q3 production

Mexico: top five silver miners up Q3 production

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Mexico's top five silver miners produced 27.3Moz in the third quarter - up 2.94% from the year-ago period, despite lower output at Goldcorp (TSX: G, NYSE: GG).

Mexico's Industrias Peñoles (BMV: PE&OLES), by far the country's biggest silver producer, saw Q3 output reach 13.5Moz, up 9.6% or 1.19Moz from 12.3Moz in the year-ago quarter, on higher grades and throughput at the Saucito and San Ramón mines, operated by subsidiary Fresnillo (BMV, LSE: FRES), partly offset by lower grades and throughput at the Fresnillo mine.

Peñoles' increase in production in the quarter was more than sufficient to offset a 15.6% dip in output at Goldcorp, Mexico's second biggest silver producer.

Goldcorp's Peñasquito mine produced 5.9Moz in the quarter, down from 7Moz in 3Q12, partly a result of a 10-day stoppage due to heavy rain following storms in September.

Steady production at Vancouver-based Pan American Silver's (TSX: PAA, NASDAQ: PAAS) La Colorada and Alamo Dorado mines, coupled with 25% growth at Dolores buoyed by higher grades and throughput, resulted in a 3.1% increase in the company's Mexican silver production to 3.3Moz (3Q12 3.2Moz), leaving Pan American in third place.

Compatriot First Majestic (TSX: FR, Amex: AG) consolidated its fourth spot in the top five with a 22.3% increase in silver production to 2.69Moz, from 2.2Moz in the year-ago quarter.

The growth was partly a result of the start of production at the Del Toro mine in January, which is the company's fifth operating mine in Mexico.

A 4.9% increase in silver production at US-based Coeur Mining's (NYSE: CDE, TSX: CDM) Palmarejo mine to 1.92Moz from 1.83Moz was just enough to ensure the company a place on the top five list, just ahead of Canadian miner Endeavour Silver's (TSX-V: EDR) 1.86Moz and Mexico City-based Minera Frisco's (BMV: FRISCO, OTC: MSNFY) 1.85Moz.

Mexico is the world's biggest silver producer, with output of 162.2Moz in 2012, according to the Silver Institute.