Peru copper, zinc, iron ore production rises

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Peru's miners increased production of copper, zinc, iron ore and molybdenum through the first three quarters, while that of silver, lead and tin declined, according to the government.

Copper output climbed 4.3% to 1.80Mt through September from 1.73Mt year earlier, the energy and mines ministry (MEM) said in a statement.

Freeport-McMoRan's Cerro Verde mine produced 380,455t copper through the first three quarters, followed by China Minmetals' Las Bambas (331,814t), Antamina (331,169t), Southern Copper (223,556t), Glencore's Antapaccay (143,803t), Chinalco's Toromocho (137,232t) and Hudbay Minerals' Constancia (87,945t), the ministry said.

Zinc production rose 11.7% to 1.08Mt on gains at Antamina, while iron ore increased by 17% to 6.78Mt at Peru's only producer Shougang Hierro Perú. Molybdenum was up 9.5% to 20,893t and bismuth jumped 59.4% to 248t.

Gold production fell 2.2% to 112,068kg from 114,558kg a year ago, the ministry said. Newmont Mining's Yanacocha mine produced 12,454kg and Barrick Gold produced 11,496kg through September.

Silver output slid 1.1% to 3.25Mkg, lead was down 3.6% to 227,679t and tin at Peru's only producer Minsur dropped 2.2% to 13,655t, according to the ministry. Byproducts such as silver and lead fell as polymetallic miners focused on their zinc deposits amidst surging prices, according to the national mining society (SNMPE).

Manganese production declined 3.8% to 849t, while that of cadmium at Votorantim Metais' Cajamarquilla refinery dropped 4.8% to 582t and arsenic fell 2.1% to 15,870t.

Minerals account for about 60% of the country's total exports. Peru, 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.

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