Fresnillo, Goldcorp Mexican silver reserves edge lower

By
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Goldcorp and Fresnillo hold combined Mexican silver reserves of more than 1Boz.

But the companies, the two largest silver producers in the country last year, saw reserves edge lower in 2016.

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Mexico's total silver reserves stood at 37,000t (1.190Boz) at the end of last year, according to US Geological Survey data, unchanged from 12 months before.

GOLDCORP

Vancouver-based Goldcorp's 2016 Mexican silver reserves totaled 611Moz, down from 625Moz at end-2015.

[GRAFICO:FIGURA:ID_4965]


 

The 2016 figures, from the company's annual report, are effective end-June and exclude 9.73Moz at the Los Filos mine, which the company sold earlier in April.

The vast bulk of the reserves are at the Peñasquito property in Zacatecas state. Peñasquito mill reserves were 569Moz in 2016, up from 567Moz, while heap leach reserves at the asset were 7.60Moz, down from 15.4Moz.

Reserves at the Camino Rojo project were 34.5Moz, up from 32.4Moz.

The changes reflect exploration successes and depletion through mining operations, as well as an increase in assumed silver prices to US$18.00/oz from US$16.50/oz in 2015.

FRESNILLO

The Mexican miner reported 2016 silver reserves of 530Moz, down from 548Moz the previous year.

Declines were seen in the disseminated orebody at the San Julián mine (down 11.7Moz), and at the Saucito (7.49Moz) and Ciénega (2.93Moz) operations.

Reserves at the Fresnillo mine increased 3.84Moz reflecting a lower cut-off grade and exploration results, while reserves at San Julián veins increased by 1.04Moz.

Fresnillo's audited ore reserve statement for 2016 has not yet been released. According to the 2015 statement, in the company's annual report, the Fresnillo mine had the biggest silver reserves at 202Moz, followed by Saucito (130Moz) and San Julián (114Moz in the disseminated orebody and 32.3Moz in veins).

RESOURCES

While Goldcorp's Mexican silver reserves exceed those of Fresnillo, the latter has far more silver resources.

Fresnillo's total resources were 2.171Boz at the end of last year, up from 1.971Boz at end-2015. While all reserves are in Mexico, the resources include small quantities of silver at non-Mexican assets.

The 2015 figure includes 36.5Moz at Pilarica in Peru. The 2016 resource statement, with the full breakdown by asset, has not been released.

Goldcorp's Mexican silver resources were 386Moz, after taking away the 156Moz at Los Filos, down from 496Moz in 2015.

Peñasquito mill resources were 239Moz in the measured and indicated categories, and 17.6Moz in inferred. This compares to 212Moz and 12.9Moz, respectively, in 2015.

Mineral resources for 2016 were calculated using a US$20/oz silver price, up from US$19/oz in 2015.