Silver surprises at Fresnillo but gold production fails to glisten

Suzie Neuwirth
IT WAS a tale of two metals for Mexican-focused miner Fresnillo yesterday, as its quarterly update showed a decline in gold production but a strong silver performance.

The FTSE 100-quoted firm’s share price slid over three per cent on the update, as a temporary explosives ban for two of its mines continued to impede gold output.

Fourth-quarter gold production was 75,645 ounces, resulting in a full-year figure of 425,831 ounces. This was in line with Fresnillo’s slashed guidance from last month but down 10 per cent year-on-year due to lower volumes from the Soledad and Herradura mines.

“We are disappointed that we don't yet have a confirmation from the district court hearing on Friday regarding the explosives suspension, but we understand that the request to impede the lifting of the suspension should be denied,” said chief executive Octavio Alvidrez.

Conversely, silver production of 10,653 ounces in the quarter resulted in full-year output of 42.7m ounces, surpassing guidance of 41 million ounces, due to better-than-expected output at the Saucito mine.