Production set to increase for Hochschild

PRECIOUS metals miner Hochschild is eyeing a 50 per cent uplift in production from the second half of next year, as it ramps up two key mines next year.

The Inmaculada and Crespo projects in Peru, which are due to be commissioned next year, will increase Latin American-focused Hochschild’s output level by 50 per cent, it said yesterday.

The recent acquisition of gold producer Andina Minerals, which it made last year, will also boost the project pipeline with the Volcan gold deposit in Chile.

Over the year, silver production slipped 10 per cent to 13.5m ounces, while gold output fell 12 per cent to 112,000 ounces.

The news came as FTSE 250-listed Hochschild posted a 32 per cent drop in full-year profit, as it was hit by lower silver prices and higher costs. Hochschild said a fall of 10 per cent in the average silver price it received offset a smaller rise in the gold price, cutting profit.

Chief executive Ignacio Bustamante yesterday shrugged off the fall in profits, commenting that the company was “enthusiastic about the significant potential of our current operations and our extensive project pipeline to deliver substantial optionality and shareholder value”.