Output of Mexico's top silver miners falls

By
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The 10 biggest silver miners in Mexico produced 34.9Moz of the metal in Q2. The same companies produced 36.1Moz in 2Q15.

The figure was impacted by a slump in Goldcorp's Mexican silver output as grades declined at the Peñasquito mine, while Industrias Peñoles cemented its position at the top of the table.

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Mexico is the world's biggest silver producer, with output of 5,400t (174Moz) in 2015, out of a global total of 27,300t, according to the US Geological Survey.

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TOP 10

1. Industrias Peñoles, 14.9Moz

The Mexican miner increased production from 13.2Moz in 2Q15. The vast bulk was from precious metals subsidiary Fresnillo, which produced 13.0Moz, up from 11.3Moz, boosted by the ramp-up of the Saucito 2 mine and higher grades at Saucito, Fresnillo and Ciénega.

2. Southern Copper, 3.30Moz

US-based Southern, a subsidiary of conglomerate Grupo México, leaped to second from fourth spot as output rose from 2.5Moz (the figures are based on silver sales volume data).

Virtually all the increase was due to higher production at the Buenavista del Cobre copper mine following an expansion.

3. Goldcorp, 3.12Moz

The Canada-based miner saw silver production drop off sharply at its Peñasquito mine, slumping by more than half from 6.90Moz, on reduced volumes of ore milled and lower grades.

4. Pan American Silver, 2.87Moz

Production declined from 3.12Moz at the Canadian company's Mexican operations, with falls at the Dolores and Alamo Dorado operations partly offset by a rise at La Colorada.

5. First Majestic, 2.84Moz

Production was up from 2.72Moz, helped by the addition of Santa Elena as the Vancouver-based company's sixth Mexican silver mine. The increase was not enough to prevent a slip to fifth from third spot in Q1.

6. Minera Frisco, 2.17Moz

The Mexican miner, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, saw silver production slip from 2.43Moz due to reduced output at the El Porvenir, Concheño, Asientos and Tayahua mines.

7. Primero Mining, 1.60Moz

Silver production was down from 2.15Moz at the San Dimas mine, affected by the lack of available high grade stopes resulting from lower development in Q1, when an overhaul of the Toronto-based company's safety standards was conducted. Production was up from 0.92Moz in Q1.

8. Endeavour Silver1.55Moz

The Canada-based miner saw output dip from 1.81Moz as a result of lower production from its Guanaceví and Bolañitos mines, mainly due to lower grades, partly offset by higher output at El Cubo.

9. Coeur Mining, 1.31Moz

Production at the US firm's Palmarejo mine increased from 1.25Moz on higher grades and throughput, as operations shift from open pit to underground.

10. Hecla Mining1.26Moz

Idaho-based Hecla was a new entry to the top 10 with output of 1.26Moz at its San Sebastián mine, which began production in January.