Costs edge higher at LatAm's gold miners

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Average production costs at Latin America's main gold miners rose during last year's third quarter.

All-in sustaining costs (AISCs) among six of the largest yellow metal producers increased to US$907/oz in the quarter from US$887/oz in 3Q16, according to BNamericas calculations.

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These companies produced at least 50,000oz gold in the quarter from Latin American assets, with at least 45% of companywide output coming from the region.

Mexico's Fresnillo, which reports production costs every half, and Minera Frisco, which did not release AISC data in the quarter, were excluded from the calculations.


1. Yamana Gold

Yamana, with mines in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Canada, was the lowest cost producer, with AISCs of US$729/oz, down from US$998/oz in 3Q16, when it was the highest cost miner in the group. Figures exclude the Brio Gold operation in Brazil.

Costs fell as a result of lower sustaining capex and mine development spending.


2. Goldcorp

Goldcorp, Latin America's joint biggest gold producer in the third quarter, saw overall AISCs inch up to US$827/oz from US$812/oz.

In Latin America, AISCs dropped to US$288/oz gold from US$777/oz at Peñasquito in Mexico, while Cerro Negro in Argentina saw a rise to US$712/oz from US$651/oz.

At Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, a 40:60 JV with Barrick Gold, AISCs were US$612/oz, climbing from US$454/oz.

3. Buenaventura

Peru's Buenaventura saw AISCs soar to US$879/oz from US$570/oz, on higher cost of sales and lower by-product credits.

4. Alamos Gold

Alamos Gold saw AISCs dip to US$884/oz from US$979/oz due to lower costs at the Mulatos mine in Mexico, and Young-Davidson in Canada, which was partly offset by an increase at El Chanate in Mexico.

New production from the La Yaqui deposit is expected to lower costs at Mulatos in 2018.

5. Torex Gold

AISCs at Torex's El Limón-Guajes mine in Mexico rose to US$1,035/oz from US$991/oz. Operations have been halted since November as a result of a blockade.

6. Tahoe Resources

The company saw AISCs increase to US$1,088/oz from US$974/oz on higher costs at the Arena and Shahuindo gold operations in Peru, partly offset by lower costs at the company's Canadian gold mines. Tahoe also has the Escobal silver mine in Guatemala.