Fresnillo’s silver production in line, while gold exceeds expectations

Precious metals miner Fresnillo (LON:FRES), the largest silver producer, reported its first-quarter silver production was in line with expectations, while it said higher-than-expected gold output, owing to the start up of its new Noche Buena mine.

Fresnillo, Mexico's second largest gold producer, said silver production, including output from its Silverstream contract, decreased 2.9% to 9.8 million troy ounces as anticipated lower grades at Fresnillo were only partially offset by higher output from its Saucito mine.

Attributable gold output increased 26% to 121,792 ounces on year in the first quarter due to increased throughput at Saucito, Cienega and Herradura.

"We have delivered another strong quarter of production with gold beating our expectations, up more than 26%, and silver production in line," said Fresnillo's Chief Executive Jaime Lomelin.

"The highlight of the quarter has been the completion and commissioning of our new gold mine at Noche Buena, which is expected to produce around 42,000 attributable ounces of gold a year at full capacity,” he added.

Noche Buena is forecast to reach full capacity sometime by the end of the year.