Precious Metals

Fresnillo, the world’s top silver producer, released its Q1 operating results, posting a 14-percent increase in silver production.

Fresnillo’s (LSE:FRES) Q1 silver production jumped 14 percent on the back of recent work at its San Julian phase II facility, the company reported on Wednesday (April 25).

The Mexico-based company currently has seven mines in operation and boosted its silver production to 14.2 million ounces in the first quarter of the year.

“Fresnillo has started the year well and delivered a solid operating performance during the period. In particular, first quarter silver production rose to 14.2 million ounces, driven by the positive contribution from the new San Julián JM (phase II) mine,” explained CEO Octavio Alvídrez.

“I am also pleased to report a positive quarter at the Fresnillo mine driven by better access to the Candelaria and San Alberto areas as planned which improved throughput at the mine,” he added.

Fresnillo is the world’s largest silver producer, and is currently constructing two plants at San Julian — a dynamic leaching plant to treat ore from veins and a flotation plant with a capacity of 6,000 tonnes per day to process ore from the disseminated body.

In addition to its silver assets, the company is also Mexico’s leader in gold production.

Q1 saw Fresnillo’s gold production rise to 231,500 ounces, to which Alvídrez stated, “we achieved a solid gold production performance during the quarter, up 4.1 percent versus 1Q17, driven by strong results at the Herradura mine.”

Herradura is one of Mexico’s largest open-pit gold mines, producing 52 percent of Fresnillo’s gold.

Looking forward, the company remains firm that its full-year silver production target will range from 67 to 70 million ounces and its gold production will hit between 870,000 and 900,000 ounces.

Also in Q1 2018, the company’s safety protocols came into question when a contractor was fatally injured at its Saucito mine.

Alvídrez addressed the issue, stating, “sadly, in the first quarter 2018, a fatal accident of one of our contractors occurred at the Saucito mine due to the lack of adherence to our safety policies. We continue to reinforce our safety measures for all our workforce in order to fulfill our zero fatalities commitment.”

As of 10:18 a.m. EST on Thursday (April 26), Fresnillo’s share price was down 2.13 percent, trading at GBX 1,249.80.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.  

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