Hochschild to ramp up exploration

City A.M. Reporter
PRECIOUS metals miner Hochschild said it will focus on its exploration programme and on bringing new projects into production rather than on big acquisitions.

The London-listed miner posted record revenue of $306.9m (£196.5m) for the six months to 30 June, up 33 per cent year-on-year.

“We are taking a different approach regarding acquisitions to what we have taken historically,” chief executive Ignacio Bustamante said yesterday following the results. “We like to focus more on our exploration pipeline.”

The Latin American-focused miner said bolt-on acquisitions are still part of its long-term strategy. “We will focus on our organic and internal growth rather than looking at opportunities in the market,” Bustamante said during his first results presentation since taking the helm in April.

The focus on exploration comes amid heightened M&A activity in the mining sector. Bustamante said Hochschild, valued at about $1.7bn, has not received any approaches from larger mining groups.

The mining group’s earnings rose sharply in the first half on higher silver and gold prices. Pre-tax profit tripled to $87.3m before exceptional items of $10.1m.