In its mid-year earnings report, Mexican gold miner Fresnillo reported that quarterly and half year attributable gold production reached record levels. Quarterly gold production was up 127,003 oz, or 15%, compared to the second quarter of 2011 and 4% compared to the previous quarter.
Gold production at Noche Buena reached 10,380 oz in the second quarter of 2012, on schedule to reach its full capacity and produce 42,000 attributable oz gold annually. The company is on track to achieve its 2012 production target of 460,000 oz of gold.
“We were pleased with our performance in the second quarter of the year with record gold production and silver production up on the previous quarter as we started to see the results of our successful ramp up at Saucito,” said Jaime Lomelín, CEO, Fresnillo. “The new Noche Buena gold mine and continued solid performance at Cienega, together with higher ore grade at Saucito, contributed to a record level of quarterly and half yearly gold production.”
The company also plans to achieve its 2012 production target of 41 million oz of silver, including the Silverstream production, with ramp-up of silver production at Saucito further offsetting lower ore grade at Fresnillo. Quarterly silver production, including the Silverstream, increased by nearly 5% compared to the first quarter of 2012 illustrating the successful ramp up at Saucito.
Construction of the leaching plant at Herradura is progressing according to schedule with start-up expected in 2013.
“For silver, the ramp-up at Saucito will continue over the second half of this year,” Lomelín said. “Together with the higher ore grades from Cienega, this will compensate for the expected lower output from the Fresnillo mine due to lower ore grades. As a result, total production for the year will be similar to that achieved in 2011.
“We are committed to progressing the group’s exploration projects and have intensified our drilling program,” Lomelín said. “We have also continued the construction of ramps at San Julian, Orisyvo and Centauro Deep. Gold reserves were increased at Noche Buena and additional analysis will be conducted to evaluate a possible expansion. The construction of the dynamic leaching plant at Herradura and the project to expand milling capacity at Fresnillo progressed well.
“We will continue focusing our efforts towards stabilizing production at our Fresnillo mine, delivering growth through new operations and discovering new deposits of precious metals. Combined, these actions will enable us to continue to deliver on our short and long term goals,” Lomelín said.