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Fresnillo: 1Q silver, gold output in line with expectations

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(Kitco News) - Fresnillo’s first-quarter output of precious metals was in line with its expectations, the company said Wednesday.

The company listed silver production of 13.23 million ounces, down 4% from 13.78 million ounces in the fourth quarter due to a lower ore grade the San Julián disseminated ore body (DOB) and a lower volume of ore processed at Saucito. However, silver output was up 0.7% from 13.14 million ounces in the first quarter of 2019.

Quarterly gold production of 196,963 ounces was down 15.7% from 233,744 in the prior quarter, although the company said this was expected, due to a lower volume of ore processed and an increase in stripping at Herradura, based on the mine plan. The January-March output was down 6.7% from 211,110 ounces in the same period of 2019.

By-product first-quarter lead production was put at 13,905 metric tons and zinc output at 22,655 tons. Both were down from the fourth quarter but higher than in the year-ago period.

Officials said the company has instituted a number of health and safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fresnillo said it was in talks with the Mexican government about maintaining certain limited operations, but did not make any announcements about suspensions.

Octavio Alvídrez, chief executive officer, reported that both quarterly silver and gold output were in line with the company’s forecasts. However, Fresnillo will keep full-year production guidance “under constant review,” he said.

“We expect production to be back-end-weighted this year,” the CEO said. “Our development pipeline progressed as expected with good advances in the construction of Juanicipio and the new Pyrites Plant at Fresnillo."

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