Mexico's gold miners forecast declining output

By
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Miners in Mexico will produce marginally less gold this year, following stable output in 2016.

Production will be 3.77Moz in 2017, according to guidance and BNamericas estimates for 23 companies. This compares to 3.88Moz last year and 3.91Moz in 2015.

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Privately held companies and miners producing small quantities of by-product gold are excluded.

200,000oz-PLUS

Mexico's top gold miner in 2016 was Industrias Peñoles at 971,477oz, up from 798,670oz, mainly due to increased production by subsidiary Fresnillo.

Based on Fresnillo's midpoint guidance and flat output at Peñoles' other assets, BNamericas assumes 921,000oz for 2017.


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Canadian major Goldcorp produced 696,000oz gold in Mexico last year, down from 1.13Moz, due to lower grades at its Peñasquito mine.

Production is forecast to fall to 410,000oz on lower production at Peñasquito and the sale of Los Filos.

Mexico's Minera Frisco produced 381,278oz, down from 411,858oz. BNamericas estimates flat production for 2017 (Frisco does not produce guidance).

Agnico Eagle Mines produced 355,230oz at its three Mexican mines, up slightly from 2015. Guidance for this year is 310,000oz.

Torex Gold was the major new player on the scene in 2016, producing 279,937oz gold at the El Limón-Guajes mine, which is forecast to increase to 365,000oz this year.

Alamos Gold produced 222,000oz at its Mulatos (pictured) and El Chanate mines, up slightly from 2015. Guidance is 210,000oz for this year.

100,000OZ-PLUS

Argonaut Gold produced 122,097oz, down from 139,059oz, with flat output forecast for 2017 at 122,500oz (gold equivalent figures).

Pan American Silver's Mexican operations generated 114,070oz gold, up from 102,110oz, helped by the ongoing expansion at Dolores. Gold output is forecast at 116,900oz in 2017.

Timmins Gold produced 100,322oz at its San Francisco mine, up from 93,353oz, and output is expected to drop to 72,500oz in 2017.

OTHERS

Primero Mining was Mexico's 10th biggest gold producer at 93,881oz, down from 151,355oz due to a string of challenges at its San Dimas mine.

BNamericas estimates flat output for 2017. The company has yet to issue guidance as it seeks to resolve a strike.

Yamana Gold produced 70,242oz gold at the Mercedes mine in 2016, down from 84,137oz, before selling its sole Mexican asset to Premier Gold Mines in Q4. Premier's midpoint 2017 guidance for Mercedes is 87,500oz.

New Gold saw one of the sharpest falls to 64,993oz from 105,512oz, and production is forecast to drop to 40,000oz in 2017 as residual leaching continues at Cerro San Pedro.

First Majestic Silver's gold production rose to 62,436oz from 25,467oz due to the addition of the Santa Elena operation, with Fortuna Silver seeing a rise to 46,018oz from 38,526oz and a further increase forecast following its San José mine expansion.

Hecla Mining reentered Mexico in 2016, with its San Sebastián silver mine producing 34,042oz gold, a figure forecast to fall to 23,000oz this year.

Other companies producing less than 60,000oz gold in 2016 were Endeavour SilverMcEwen MiningGold ResourceGreat Panther Silver and Avino Silver and Gold Mines.

BNamericas estimates 220,000oz gold production for 2017 by Leagold Mining, which is in the process of acquiring Goldcorp's Los Filos. The figure is based on data from a recent technical report.