How Brazil's top 6 gold miners performed in 2017

Friday, March 2, 2018

Brazil's top six gold miners produced 1.87Moz of the metal in 2017.

Output was down from the 1.97Moz that the same companies produced the year before, according to figures compiled by BNamericas.

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In total, Brazil produced 85Mt (3.00Moz) of gold in 2017, making it the world's 11th largest producer, according to data from the US Geological Survey.



1. AngloGold Ashanti 557,000oz

At AngloGold Ashanti Mineração (424,000oz) full-year production rose from 407,000oz in 2016, while at Serra Grande (133,000oz) output was largely flat compared with 131,000oz.

"Production increased as a result of improved geological modelling at Mineração which assisted the recovery from geotechnical challenges faced at the start of the year at Córrego do Sitio," AngloGold said in its latest financial report.

"At Serra Grande, production was driven by higher tonnes treated supported by crushing and milling efficiencies and more efficient leaching following the implementation of the Carbon-In-Leach project, this despite lower feed grades," the company added.

2. Vale 485,000oz

In 2017, Vale's gold output reached an annual record of 485,000oz, up 0.4% on the previous year, mostly on an all-time quarterly production record.

"The contained volume of gold as a by-product in our nickel and copper concentrates reached a record of 139,000oz in 4Q17, 6.1% and 1.5% higher than in 3Q17 and 4Q16, respectively," Vale said in an earnings report.

3. Kinross Gold 359,959oz

(Note: Kinross reports gold equivalent production)

Globally, Kinross attributable gold output reached 2.67Moz last year, down from 2.79Moz in 2016 and at the high end of the company's 2017 guidance range.

The decrease, Kinross said, was mainly due to lower production at Kupol, the suspension of mining activities at Maricunga and the temporary curtailment of mining activities at Paracatu. The mine produced 359,959oz compared with 483,014oz the previous year.

"At Paracatu, annual production decreased compared with 2016 mainly due to the temporary curtailment of mining and Plant 2 operations in the second half of the year as a result of lower than average rainfall in the area. The lower production resulted in an increase in the full-year cost of sales per ounce," the company said in a results statement.

In 2018, Kinross expects to produce 2.5Moz from its operations, and anticipates to stay at or slightly above the same level of production over the next three years.

"The production guidance has taken into consideration the potential for a temporary curtailment of mill operations at Paracatu due to the possibility of seasonal rainfall shortages in the area."

Paracatu had proven and probable reserves of 9.65Moz gold in 2015.

4. Yamana Gold 255,658oz

Yamana's Chapada mine produced 119,852oz of gold in 2017, up from 107,301oz the year before. Production for the fourth quarter exceeded expectations, driven by an increase in ore processed compared to the previous quarter and the same period of last year.

The company's Jacobina mine produced 135,806oz of gold in 2017, compared to 120,478oz in 2016, exceeding its production expectations, Yamana said in an earnings report.

The company does not report output for Pilar, Fazenda Brasileiro and RDM, all gold mines in Brazil.

5. Beadell 129,764oz

Beadell's Tucano mine produced 129,764oz in 2017, down 11% on 2016.

The Brazil-focused miner said "Tucano finished 2017 with record levels of ore on the ROM pad (approximately 10,000 ounces of contained gold)."

The Tucano gold mine is forecast to produce between 145,000 to 155,000 ounces of gold in CY2018, Beadell said in its latest production report.

6. Jaguar 84,151oz

Jaguar's consolidated gold production decreased to 84,151oz from 96,608oz in 2016, mainly due to challenges experienced at Turmalina in the first half of 2017, which deferred approximately 12,000 ounces.

Output from the Turmalina mine decreased to 45,466oz from 63,259oz the previous year. Output from the Caeté complex – comprising the Pilar and Roça Grande mines – rose to 38,685oz last year from 33,349oz in 2016.

Jaguar also has the Paciência gold mine complex, which has been on care and maintenance since 2012​.


Brazil's position on the gold production cost curve, together with new projects, make it possible to forecast rising output, according to Mathias Heider, mineral resources specialist at DNPM.

"I see enormous potential for mid-size gold mining in the northern and midwestern regions of Brazil, generating employment and income and driving local development," Heider told BNamericas earlier.

Large and medium-sized gold projects being carried out in the country are expected to add about 15t/y to Brazil's gold output, without taking into account all the other smaller projects or those being initially surveyed, according to Heider.