Fresnillo plc reported Wednesday that its quarterly attributable silver production of 13.0 million ounces (moz) (including Silverstream) was down 6.0% in the fourth quarter year-on-year.
The drop was the result of a lower ore grade and a lower volume of ore processed at Saucito, mitigated by a higher ore grade at San Julián.
Full-year attributable silver production of 53.1 moz (including Silverstream) was 2.9% less than the prior year due to lower expected ore grade at Saucito, mitigated by higher ore grade at San Julián and ore from development of Juaniciple that is processed for the first time.
Regarding gold, Fresnillo plc’s quarterly attributable production of 215.6 koz was 24.8% higher than in the third quarter of 2020, due to higher volumes of processed ore, ore grade and recovery rate at Herradura.
This followed a weaker third quarter of 2020 due to Covid-19 operating restrictions earlier in the year that resulted in lower volumes of ore deposited in the open pits of Fresnillo plc during the second quarter of 2020 and subsequently impacted the cycle. recovery on the leach pads in the third quarter.
Quarterly attributable gold production decreased 7.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, due in part to a lower recovery rate in Herradura compared to the same quarter of 2019, which benefited from the start-up of operations on the 13th platform of leaching in the third quarter of 2019 that improved the recovery speed in the fourth quarter of that same year.
Additionally, albeit to a lesser extent, a smaller volume of ore was processed on Noche Buena, as a result of fewer areas available as the mine approaches its planned closure and a minor, non-hazardous local landslide in a of the well walls that impacted the mining sequence along with a lower ore grade at Ciénega.
Full-year attributable gold production of 769.6 koz decreased 12.1% compared to fiscal 2019 primarily due to lower volume of ore processed at Herradura as a result of Covid-19 related labor restrictions and Christmas Eve issues.