Hochschild Mining plc announced that a significant increase in COVID-19 infections in Argentina’s Santa Cruz province has resulted in a temporary lockdown of various mines. The company’s San Jose operation has been mandated to halt operations and is currently undertaking a deep clean of the site’s facilities and equipment. Subject to permission from the authorities, Hochschild expected to restart limited operations in early December. The company said the production stoppage would not affect its revised full-year production guidance of between 280,000 to 290,000 gold equivalent ounces (oz) or 24 million to 25 million silver equivalent oz.
Located in the northwest corner of the Deseado Massif, the mine produces a high-grade ore that is processed at an onsite mill. Roughly half the concentrate is smelted into doré on-site and the balance is filtered and shipped as concentrate. In 2019, the San Jose mine produced 105,500 gold equivalent oz. The mine started production in 2007 and is expected to continue until at least 2024.