Trend: Mexico silver miners forecast hike in 2018 output

By
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mexico's silver production looks set to rise in 2018, according to guidance from six of the country's main miners.

Combined mid-point guidance stands at 112Moz, up from 100Moz the miners produced in 2017, figures compiled by BNamericas show.

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The six all feature among Mexico's top 10 silver producers. Other major miners that have not released silver guidance for their Mexican operations for 2018 include GoldcorpMinera FriscoPrimero Mining and Southern Copper.

Silver production by Mexico's top 10 producers in 2017 is expected to come in at around 153Moz, according to guidance and BNamericas estimates, up from 142Moz in 2016.

Mexico is the world's top silver mining country.

ON THE RISE

The biggest increase in output in 2018 is expected by Fresnillo, a subsidiary of Mexico's top silver producer, Industrias Peñoles.

Fresnillo forecast silver output of 67-70Moz this year, up from 58.7Moz in 2017, driven partly by the new San Julián mine and optimization and expansion projects.

First Majestic Silver also expects a rebound this year, with output guided at 10.6-11.8Moz, up from 9.75Moz, partly due to higher grades, throughput and recoveries at its La Encantada, La Parrilla, La Guitarra and Del Toro mines.

Production could be further boosted if the company completes its planned takeover of Primero.

Expansions at Pan American Silver's La Colorada and Dolores mines in Mexico are set to lift output for the company to 11.9-12.6Moz, compared to 11.9Moz last year, despite the termination of operations at the Alamo Dorado asset.

Endeavour Silver expects silver production to rise to 5.8-6.4Moz in 2018 from 4.92Moz, on the back of operational improvements at its three producing assets and the startup of the El Compás gold-silver project.

DECLINING OUTPUT

Fortuna Silver forecast a slight dip in output at its San José mine to 7.50Moz from 7.53Moz in 2017, with Coeur Mining expecting a drop to 6.5-7.1Moz from 7.24Moz at its Palmarejo mine on lower grades.